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Agnikul inaugurates its first launchpad & mission control center at Satish Dhawan Space Centre

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Chennai-based space-tech start-up Agnikul inaugurated India’s first-ever launchpad designed and operated by a private player. Located at Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC), Sriharikota, the facility was inaugurated on November 25 by S Somanath, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation.

The start-up incubated at IIT Madras is building India’s first private small satellite rocket Agnibaan. It can carry up to 100 kg of payload to low Earth orbits up to 700 km. It has the capability for a plug-and-play engine configuration that is configurable to precisely match the mission’s needs.

In December 2020, Agnikul signed an agreement with ISRO that sanctioned it to use the Indian space agency’s expertise and facilities to build Agnibaan and its launchpads.

The facility designed by Agnikul and executed in support of ISRO and IN-SPACe has two sections — the Agnikul launchpad and the Agnikul mission control center. All critical systems connecting these two — which are 4 km away from each other are redundant to ensure 100 per cent operationality during the countdown.

December launch

Agnikul’s first launch is likely to be in December and will be a controlled and guided mission. Having a vertical launch using its patented engine will happen from this launchpad. 

According to a press release, Agnilet is the first single-piece 3D printed engine fully designed and manufactured in India that was successfully tested at ISRO in early 2021.

Somanath said, “The first exclusive launch pad for a private launch vehicle has come up at SDSC. Now, India can travel to space from one more space platform. Thanks to Agnikul.”

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Published on November 28, 2022

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