Agnikul Cosmos: Pioneering India's Private Space Odyssey

Image depicting Agnikul Cosmos preparing to launch Agnibaan, India's first private rocket, as part of its pioneering journey in the nation's space exploration
Agnikul Cosmos: Pioneering India's Private Space Odyssey[Source-Carrierindia]

Agnikul Cosmos, a Chennai-based space startup nurtured at IIT Madras, is poised to etch its name in history with the landmark launch of India’s maiden private rocket, Agnibaan Sub Orbital Technology Demonstrator (SOrTeD), on March 22, 2023. From the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, this endeavor marks several groundbreaking milestones in India’s space exploration journey.

Launch Significance:

  • India’s inaugural private launchpad deployment.
  • Debut of India’s semi-cryogenic engine powered rocket.
  • Introduction of the world’s premier single-piece 3D printed engine, designed and manufactured domestically.

Rocket Specifications:

  • The Agnibaan rocket, standing at 18 meters tall with a 1.3-meter diameter, boasts the capability to ferry a 100-kg payload to a 700 km altitude.
  • Fueled by liquid oxygen (LOX) stored cryogenically and kerosene, with a thrust vector controlled, gimballed motor enabling directional thrust modulation.

Maiden Flight Details:

  • The inaugural Agnibaan flight will be sub-orbital, launching from Sriharikota and executing a guided, vertical ascent before descending into the Bay of Bengal after reaching 10 km altitude.

Engine Design:

  • Agnibaan comprises two stages: 'Agnite' and 'Agnilet', both semi-cryogenic engines employing a blend of refined kerosene and super cooled liquid oxygen.
  • Pioneering single-piece, 3D printed engines developed domestically by Agnikul.

Salient Features:

  • Customizable first stage accommodating four to seven engines.
  • Electrically powered fuel pumps and pneumatic stage separation systems ensure safety during transportation.

Private Launch Pad and Mission Control Centre:

  • Inauguration of India’s premier private rocket launch pad and mission control center within ISRO’s Sriharikota complex, showcasing innovation in launch flexibility and mobility.

Test Launch Objectives:

  • The test launch encompasses avionics, telemetry, and guidance systems validation, affirming the technology’s efficacy and subsystem performance.

Important Facts for Exams:

  • Founded in 2017 by IIT Madras alumni Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM.
  • Funding secured from diverse investors including pi Ventures, Speciale Invest, and Artha Venture Fund.
  • Collaborations with ISRO, Department of Space, and the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development underscore Agnikul Cosmos' commitment to innovation and collaboration in India’s space domain.

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