Two Spacetech Startups Get Access to ISRO Facilities, Expertise to Test Rocket Systems

Science

The Department of Space (DoS) has entered into a Framework MoU with aerospace startup Agnikul Cosmos for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/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 National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai, to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. 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 USD 11 Million Series A round from institutional and angel investors earlier this year.

Top Agnikul officials met DoS secretary and ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, who assured all support from DoS for qualifying Agnikul launch vehicle systems. 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 and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran inked it from the company side.

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/systems of space launch vehicles. The Framework MoU will enable the company for undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres and also to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

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 the development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies, according to 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.

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