India’s Second Privately Built Rocket to be Launched by AgniKul Cosmos

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New Delhi: In a post on the social networking platform X, IIT-Madras incubated space startup AgniKul Cosmos announced the launch window for India’s second privately built rocket. “March 22-28, 2024,” AgniKul Cosmos posted.

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All set to launch its 3D printed sub-orbital rocket Agnibaan SOrTeD later this month from its private launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, AgniKul Cosmos started the process of integrating its Agnibaan SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator (SOrTeD) in August 2023 at its private launchpad in Sriharikota

Powered by AgniKul’s patented Agnilet engine, a 3D-printed, single-piece, 6 kilonewtons (kN) semi-cryogenic engine, Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle. The Agnibaan rocket is a two-stage launch vehicle equipped to place payloads of up to 100 kg into a low earth orbit at a distance of 700 km.

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A Hyderabad-based space startup, Skyroot Aerospace had become India’s first private company to launch a sub-orbital rocket Vikram-S, which reached an altitude of 89.5 km in 155 seconds. Skyroot plans to start launching small satellites in orbit later this year using the Vikram-1 rocket.

Last month, India’s space regulator IN-SPACe released an integrated manifesto for the next five quarters, which mentioned AgniKul’s SOrTeD launch in the last quarter of the current fiscal.

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AgniKul Cosmos was established in 2017 by aerospace engineers Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM, along with IIT-Madras faculty member Prof Sathyanarayan R Chakravarthy. In December 2020, Agnikul emerged as the first Indian company to sign an agreement with ISRO.