National Center for Combustion R&D, IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
Number of employees
AgniKul Cosmos Private Limited[a] is an Indian aerospace manufacturer based in National Center for Combustion R&D (NCRD) of IIT Madras, Chennai. The start up aims to develop and launch its own small-lift launch vehicle such as the Agnibaan, capable of placing 100 kg (220 lb) payload into a 700 km (430 mi) orbit. The first commercial launch was expected in 2022. However, no launch happened in that year.
The company was founded by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM within IIT Madras with a seed funding of ₹3 crore (equivalent to ₹3.6 crore or US$450,000 in 2020) with aim to develop and launch its first rocket in 2021 and subsequently develop ability to provide launch service for satellites weighing up to 100 kg (220 lb). The start-up later managed to raise up to ₹23.4 crore (US$2.9 million) from investors. Till end of 2020, the company had raised almost $4 million and headed towards Indian Space Research Organisation for advisory. A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was signed with Department of Space to obtain government's technological assistance in development of launch vehicles. Although the company entered an agreement with Alaska Aerospace Corp. to launch rocket from Kodiak Launch Complex as a commercial launch pad to test rockets was not available in India, the deal eventually fizzled out as no progress was made with the vehicle.  AgniKul has received investment from personal capacity of Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group. Although, amount was not specified.
AgniKul signed a framework agreement with the Department of Space in September 2021 for access to ISRO facilities and technical expertise for the development of its two-stage small-satellite Agnibaan launch vehicle. On 7 November 2022, Agnikul Cosmos bought its first Flight Termination System (FTS) from ISRO. It will be used in Agnibaan scheduled for launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
Agnibaan (lit. 'Arrow of fire') is envisaged to be a mobile launch system capable of placing a 100 kg (220 lb) satellite into a 700 km (430 mi) orbit. The rocket will be 18 meters long with a diameter of 1.3 meters and a lift-off mass of 14,000 kg (31,000 lb). It will use clustered engines on first stage in various configurations depending upon the payload and will only use LOX and Kerosene based engines. The rocket is supposed to be manufactured by 3D printing at whole.
AgniKul Cosmos inaugurated first private launchpad and mission control centre in India at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota on 28 November 2022. The launchpad and the mission control centre are 4 km apart from one another. At present, the launchpad can handle liquid stage launch vehicle. All the critical systems performing functions at Agnikul launchpad (ALP) and the Agnikul mission control center (AMCC) have high degree of redundancy to ensure 100% operationality. ISRO’s range operations team will monitor key flight safety parameters during launches from ALP while AMCC can share critical data with ISRO’s Mission Control Center. Both the facilities have support of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).