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IIT Madras-based launch vehicle startup becomes first entity to sign deal under the new scheme

Chennai, NFAPost: 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. 

In a brief event which was chaired by Secretary DoS and Chairman ISRO Dr K Sivan along with Directors of VSSC, LPSC, IISU and IPRC Centres of ISRO and IIT Madras Director Dr Bhaskar Ramamurthi the first formal steps were taken in enabling Agnikul to work closely with ISRO to help it proceed in the development of launch vehicle. 

“We encourage new players such as Agnikul to explore disruptive technologies and break away from the conventional methods of manufacturing launch vehicles,” said Chairman ISRO Dr K Sivan.

The Directors of various ISRO Centers assured their full support and mentorship in helping Agnikul progress towards its vision. All centers were appreciative of Agnikul’s effort and dedication including the new technologies that they are working on and wished to see a launch happen as soon as 2022.

Agnikul Cosmos CEO and co-founder Srinath Ravichandran said ISRO’s support to startups at an early stage is a strong sense of encouragement for all of us in India who are looking to build Space technology in India.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan 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 are seeing 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.”

Under the agreement, Agnikul will be able to work with various ISRO centers to get access to technical information and facilities necessary to go forward with their launch vehicle development. This is a significant step by the Department of Space in mentoring private players to enable them to collaborate with ISRO.

“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, Scientific Secretary and Chair of the interim IN-SPACe empowered Committee.

Agnikul co-founder Moin SPM said his team is proud to be building this vehicle from India and we will continue to build space technology that will complement ISRO’s efforts.

“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,” said Agnikul co-founder Moin SPM.

IIT Madras Director Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said it is great to see a startup coming out of the National Center for Combustion R&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.

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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