Agnikul inaugurates India’s first private space?

Chennai-based space tech startup Agnikul Cosmos launched India’s first private launchpad. It also established a mission control center at the Satish Dhawan Satellite Centre (SDSC), in Sriharikota. S Somanath, chairman of ISRO, inaugurated the facility on November 28.

There are two main parts to the facility: the Agnikul launchpad, and the Agnikul control centre. They are located four kilometres apart. Agnikul claims that the launchpad was built to support liquid stage-controlled launches. This launchpad will be used by the Chennai-based startup Agnibaan to launch its rocket.

Agnibaan, a two-stage launch vehicle capable of carrying payloads up to 100 kg to a low-earth orbit approximately 700 km from the Earth’s surface, is designed to carry them. The company’s 3D printed Agnilet engines will power the Agnibaan rocket. This rocket uses liquid kerosene, supercold liquid oxygen to propel it. The Agnilet engine was tested by Agnikul at ISRO’s facilities in January.

In an interview with Indianexpress.com Srinath Ravichandran, cofounder and CEO of Agnikul said that the company aims to launch its Agnibaan rocket in the second half of 2015. “The engine functions at extremely high temperatures and is very complex.” Ravichandran stated that if we are able to 3D-print an engine, it will make us more confident in manufacturing static parts for the rest.

It is more than just validating the engines for a rocket launch. Other systems such as avionics packages, guidance and navigation systems and other components of the rocket must also be validated and tested. The payloads for the Agnibaan rocket’s debut launch will be designed to test its systems.

Shivi

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