The Department of Space (DoS) and Agnikul Cosmos Private Limited, an IIT Madras based launch vehicle startup, are pleased to announce that they have signed a non-disclosure agreement under the newly proposed IN-SPACe entity. Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) is an independent nodal agency under DoS for allowing space activities and usage of DOS owned facilities by private organizations as well as to prioritise the launch manifest.
Under the agreement, Agnikul will be able to work with various Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) centers to get access to technical information and facilities necessary to go forward with their launch vehicle development that will enable rapid space access to anyone launching a small satellite. This is a significant step and the first such step by the Department of Space in mentoring private players to collaborate with ISRO.
In a brief event which was chaired by Secretary, DoS and Chairman ISRO, Dr. K. Sivan and saw participation from the heads of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC), ISRO Inertial Systems Unity (IISU), and (ISRO Propulsion Research Complex) IPRC Centres of ISRO, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, Director, IIT Madras Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Shri RV Perumal. The first formal steps were taken in enabling Agnikul to work closely with ISRO to help it proceed in the development of a launch vehicle.
The Directors of various ISRO Centers assured their full support and mentorship in helping Agnikul progress towards its vision of making space access available to everyone, anywhere, anytime, affordably. All centers were appreciative of Agnikul's dedication and efforts centered around new technologies and expressed their wishes to see a launch happen as soon as 2022.
"We encourage new players such as Agnikul to explore disruptive technologies and break away from the conventional methods of manufacturing launch vehicles," said the Chairman of ISRO.
"ISRO's support to startups at an early stage is a strong sense of encouragement for all of us looking to build Space technology in India," said Srinath Ravichandran, CEO and Co-founder of Agnikul Cosmos.
"The Chairman of ISRO mentioned in July 2020, right after the IN-SPACe announcement, that private players will be encouraged by ISRO even before the official establishment of IN-SPACe, and we see that it came true today. It is an unforgettable moment for all of us at Agnikul to be the first player in the country to be signing such an agreement."
"It is a happy day for our country, and we are eager to extend our support to Agnikul as they progress along in their journey," said Shri R Umamaheswaran, the Scientific Secretary and Chair of the interim IN-SPACe empowered Committee.
"We are proud to be building this vehicle in India and we will continue to build space technology that will complement ISRO's efforts," said Moin SPM, Agnikul Co-founder. "This is going to be a "Made-in-India-for-the-world" solution and we are proud to be doing our humble parts in enhancing India's self-reliance in space tech as a part of India's AatmaNirbharBharat vision."
"It is great to see a startup coming out of the National Center for Combustion R and D (NCCRD), IIT Madras and a venture that is also a part of our IIT Madras Incubation Cell grow to the extent of being able to set a launch date," said Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the Director of IIT Madras."
AgniKul Cosmos Private Limited is a Chennai based start-up building India's first private small satellite launch vehicle. Their vehicle is - Agnibaan - a rocket that will be capable of carrying up to 100 kg of payload to low Earth orbits up to 700 km with a plug-and-play engine configuration.
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Government funds UK companies at the forefront of space innovation
London, UK (SPX) Dec 09, 2020
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