The Department of Space (DoS) has entered into a framework agreement with aerospace technology startups Agnikul Cosmos for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles. The agreement will enable the company to undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) centres for testing and qualification of its single piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems.
It will also enable Agnikul, based in National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai, to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. Agnikul said the agreement would formally enable it to go forward with its testing plans at ISRO. “With this level of Govt. support, low earth orbit does look close”, tweeted the company, which raised USD 11 Million Series A round from institutional and angel investors earlier this year.
Top Agnikul officials met Department of Space secretary and ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, who assured all support from Department of Space for qualifying Agnikul launch vehicle systems. ISRO’s Scientific Secretary and Chairman, Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) Committee, R Umamaheswaran signed the agreement on Friday on behalf of DoS and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran inked it from the company side.
Department of Space also entered into a similar agreement with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace last week for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles. The Framework MoU will enable the company for undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres and also to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the ISRO Chairman inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at Bellatrix Aerospace located at the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru. This privately funded propulsion lab has in-house facilities for development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies, according ISRO.Dr Sivan appreciated the young team for establishing the state-of-the art facility which houses equipment such as integrated thermal high vacuum test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, and specialised high temperature coating facilities.