- 18 Oct 2020
The juvenile Chennai aerospace startup incepted in the year 2017, has inked an agreement with Alaska Aerospace to test launch its Vehicle titled Agnibaan. The small, nano, micro rocket maker's main idea is to help its customers launch vehicles economically. This is beginning of a new era in private space industry of India given the fact that government is laying the ground with the Space 2.0 initiative.
The Indian based small rocket maker Agnikul cosmos is excited to test launch its finest AGNIBAAN from the foreign rocket port from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska on Kodiak Island in the United States. The company is looking forward to commercial launches around the year 2022.
As per this agreement, both the companies Alaska Aerospace and AgniKul will work together to secure several regulatory approvals like US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch licensing, the US export control etc. in sync with export regulations in India.
Agnikul Cosmos Ltd. is a space launch vehicle startup who has former ISRO scientists, IIT Madras engineers, few ex-bankers and space lawyers as part of their team. AGNIBAAN is the first private small satellite rocket, one of its kind. The rocket has the ability to carry up to a mass of 100 kg to low Earth orbits of upto 700 km.
Agnibaan is a sanskrit word which means "an arrow of fire".
The main significance of the vehicle is that it doesn't fly with the same number of engines all the time and the engines are filled with LOX/ kerosene in all stages.
Why did Agnikul opt Alaska?
Srinath Ravichandran CEO of AgniKul Cosmos, main objective is to make space accessible to everyone
With that vision, they chose “Alaska Aerospace as Agnikul and Alaska share the same vision of providing rapid, agile, and low-cost access to space. Alaska Aerospace is also one of the largest markets for the launching of small satellites. Srinath says," Having access to high latitude launch locations is an important aspect of our strategy for offering customer-centric launch services, and this partnership with Alaska Aerospace is going to be directly helpful,” he added.
Meanwhile, Agnikul has got a lot of plans in place. In July 2020, it signed an MOU with Italian company Leaf Space for ground station services. The company also signed up with a South Australian launch port.
Space 2.0, Atma Nirbhar Bharat for Private Firms like Agnikul
A few months back, the Government of India stepped one foot ahead and brought Space reforms under the Self-Reliant India scheme- Atma Nirbhar Bharat. With these reforms, the dreams of private firms to Tour the space has come true and the government has said," many private players are doing great work in the space arena and stepping up to develop space technology but unfortunately due to Indian regulations they are unable to use ISRO's available space facilities for testing their products".
From now, Atma Nirbhar Bharat will support the rise of Space 2.0 in the country. Under Space 2.0, the government set-up an autonomous body under the Department of Space. (The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACE), which would help private prayers, gain access to ISRO infrastructure). Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that the ISRO is open to lend its facilities for the private space sector of India and refereed them as a co-traveller in India's space sector journey.
Agnikul is not the only private player in the market. Skyroot, Bellatrix are other two as competitive. Though it is a well-known fact that ISRO is the best Public Sector Performer but it's time to get advanced and expand our space sector. The Indian Space Research Organisation has always made India proud since its inception in the year 1969. It has set numerous records by it's missions and launches. Whether it may be the launching of the first Satellite Aryabhata in the year 1975 or the launch of 104 satellites using a single rocket from Sriharikota, it has always been indefatigable in its efforts.