Science

2 spacetech start-ups get access to ISRO facilities, expertise to test rocket systems

PTI Bengaluru | Updated on September 18, 2021

Will get support to qualify space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

The Department of Space (DoS) has entered into a Framework MoU with aerospace start-up Agnikul Cosmos for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems and systems of space launch vehicles.

The MoU will enable the company to undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) centres for testing and qualification of its single piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems.

It will also enable Agnikul, based in the National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai, to avail technical expertise to test and qualify its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

Low earth orbit

Agnikul said the MoU would formally enable it to go forward with its testing plans at ISRO.

“With this level of Govt. support, low earth orbit does look close,” tweeted the company, which raised $11 million in its Series A funding round from institutional and angel investors earlier this year.

Top Agnikul officials met DoS secretary and ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, who assured all support for qualifying Agnikul launch vehicle systems.

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ISRO’s Scientific Secretary and Chairman, Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) Committee, R Umamaheswaran, signed the MoU on Friday on behalf of DoS. Agnikul CEO, Srinath Ravichandran, inked it from the company side.

Skyroot Aerospace

DoS entered into a similar MoU with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace last week for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems or systems of space launch vehicles.

The Framework MoU will enable the company to undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres, and also avail the technical expertise of ISRO to test and qualify its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

Spacecraft research laboratory

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the ISRO Chairman inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at Bellatrix Aerospace located at the Indian Institute of Science campus here.

This privately funded propulsion lab has in-house facilities for development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies, according ISRO.

Sivan appreciated the young team for establishing the state-of-the art facility which houses equipment such as integrated thermal high vacuum test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, and specialised high temperature coating facilities.

Published on September 18, 2021

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