ANIKUL COSMOS
Company typePrivate
IndustryAerospace
Founded2017; 7 years ago (2017)
Founder
  • Srinath Ravichandran
  • Moin SPM
  • Satyanaryan Chakravarthy
  • Janardhana Raju
Headquarters
National Center for Combustion R&D, IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
,
India
Key people
  • Srinath Ravichandran
    (CEO)
  • Moin SPM
    (COO)
Products
Services
RevenueNone
Number of employees
150-200
Websiteagnikul.in Edit this at Wikidata

AgniKul Cosmos Private Limited[a] is an Indian aerospace manufacturer based in National Center for Combustion R&D (NCRD) of IIT Madras, Chennai.[1] 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.

Mockups of the Agnibaan launch vehicle and it's engine at the International Astronautical Congress 2021.

History

The company was founded by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM within IIT Madras with a seed funding of 3 crore (equivalent to 4.2 crore or US$530,000 in 2023) 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).[2] The start-up later managed to raise up to 23.4 crore (equivalent to 28 crore or US$3.4 million in 2023) from investors.[3] Till end of 2020, the company had raised almost $4 million and headed towards the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for advisory.[4] A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was signed with Department of Space to obtain government's technological assistance in development of launch vehicles.[5] 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.[6] AgniKul has received investment from personal capacity of Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group. Although, amount was not specified.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

In October 2023, AgniKul raised $26.7 million in a Series B funding round, bringing the total capital raised since its inception to $40 million. Both existing and new investors participated in the round.[10][11]

Development of engines

Launch vehicle

Main article: Agnibaan

Agnibaan rocket's 2d model.

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.[15] A single-stage suborbital demonstrator, nicknamed Agnibaan SOrTeD (Suborbital Tech Demonstrator), is scheduled to perform a test flight later in 2023.[16][17]

Launch pad and mission control centre

AgniKul Cosmos inaugurated first private launchpad and mission control centre in India at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] Both the facilities have support of ISRO and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).[21]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ pronounced: ɐɡnɪ ’kʊl; According to the founders of the company, 'AgniKul' is the portmanteau of 'Agni' and 'Gurukul', and the name therefore translates to "a place where people learn to use fire"

References

  1. ^ "Agnikul". agnikul.in. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  2. ^ Reddy, Krishna (29 May 2019). "WATCH: IIT Madras-incubated Agnikul is aiming to become the first Indian startup to put small satellites into space".
  3. ^ Kashyaap, Sindhu (18 March 2020). "[Funding alert] Spacetech startup Agnikul raises Rs 23.4 Cr in pre-Series A round led by pi Ventures".
  4. ^ Srinivasan, Srinath (26 November 2020). "Into a new orbit: Making space for small satellites". The Financial Times. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Non-Disclosure Agreement signed with M/s Agnikul". ISRO. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  6. ^ Narasimhan, TE (1 October 2020). "Agnikul signs agreement with Alaska Aerospace to test launch its rocket". Business Standard. Chennai. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Anand Mahindra backs space startup Agnikul Cosmos". The Economic Times. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  8. ^ "ISRO signs agreement with Agnikul Cosmos allowing it access to facilities, expertise to build launch vehicles". Firstpost. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  9. ^ "ISRO supplies rocket system to support private launch vehicle". mint. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  10. ^ Wang, Catherine. "Indian Space Startup Raises $26.7 Million Series B To Launch Satellites Using 3D-Printed Rocket Engines". Forbes. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  11. ^ "Space startup Agnikul Cosmos raises ₹200 crore". The Times of India. 18 October 2023. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Agnikul Cosmos fires single-piece, 3D printed rocket engine". MoneyControl. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  13. ^ Kandavel, Sangeetha (8 November 2022). "Chennai-headquartered Agnikul Cosmos successfully test-fires 3D-printed rocket engine". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  14. ^ https://youtube.com/bj805ThRvtM%7C Test firing video of engine on Agnikul's official YouTube channel.
  15. ^ "Agnibaan". AgniKul Cosmos. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  16. ^ Agnikul Cosmos [@AgnikulCosmos] (17 August 2023). "Humbled to have had the opportunity to bring our Agnibaan SOrTeD vehicle to our Launchpad at SDSC-SHAR on Independence Day to commence integration checks. We thank @isro and @INSPACeIND for their continuous encouragement and support in getting us this far" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Das, Shouvik (6 March 2023). "Isro arm targets 10 commercial SSLV launches by 2026". Mint. Retrieved 24 March 2023. Agnikul Cosmos is expected to conduct a demonstrator mission of its Agnibaan rocket later this year.
  18. ^ "Agnikul inaugurates India's first private space vehicle launchpad in Sriharikota". The Indian Express. 29 November 2022. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  19. ^ Kandavel, Sangeetha (28 November 2022). "Agnikul Cosmos sets up India's first private space vehicle launchpad at Sriharikota". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  20. ^ "Space start-up Agnikul Cosmos sets up India's first private launch pad". India Today. 28 November 2022. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  21. ^ "Space startup Agnikul Cosmos inaugurates India's first private launchpad at Sriharikota". Financialexpress. 29 November 2022. Retrieved 30 November 2022.