NELLORE: For the first time in India, a Chennai-based private company and Agnikul, an IIT-Chennai incubated spacetech start-up, have constructed a launch facility inside the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota that is run by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
The facility comprises a launch pad and a mission control centre which will track the rocket. The facility can handle liquid-fuelled rockets, it was stated.
The start-up intends to launch its two-stage rocket, Agnibaan. It has been stated that the 13-metre-tall rocket, manufactured by 3D printing, can launch 100 kg satellites into a 700 km orbit.
After inaugurating the facility on November 25, Isro Chairman S. Somanath said that India could now travel to space from one more platform.
The facility can monitor key flight safety parameters by Isro’s range operations teams during launch and share the data with ISRO’s Mission Control Centre.
Agnikul Cosmos Private Limited is a Chennai-based start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras). It was founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin S.P.M. and Prof. SR Chakravarthy of IIT Madras.
Agnikul said it aimed to make space accessible and affordable. Ravichandran said that the ability to launch from the start-up’s own launch pad while working with Isro’s launch operations teams was a privilege.
Moin thanked Isro and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre) for the consistent support to build Agnikul’s launch pad inside Sriharikota.