The Department of Space (DoS) has signed a framework agreement with the aerospace technology startup Agnikul Cosmos on access to ISRO facilities and know-how for the development and testing of subsystems / systems of launch vehicles.
The agreement will allow the company to conduct multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) centers to test and qualify its one-piece 3D printed semi-cryogenic engine and other systems.
Agnikul, based in the National Center for Combustion R&D at IIT-Madras, Chennai, will also make it possible to use ISRO’s technical know-how to test and qualify its launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
Agnikul said the agreement would officially allow him to continue his testing plans at ISRO.
“With this government support, Earth orbit looks very close,” tweeted the company, which raised $ 11 million in the Series A round from institutional and angel investors earlier this year.
Senior Agnikul officials met Space Department secretary and ISRO chairman K Sivan, who pledged all of the space ministry’s support for Agnikul launcher systems qualification.
ISRO’s Scientific Secretary and Chairman of the Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center) Committee, R. Umamaheswaran, signed the agreement on Friday on behalf of the DoS and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran signed it on behalf of the company.
The Space Ministry also reached a similar agreement last week with Skyroot Aerospace, based in Hyderabad, to gain access to ISRO facilities and expertise for developing and testing spacecraft subsystems / systems.
The framework MoU will enable the company to carry out several tests and access facilities in various ISRO centers and also to use ISRO’s technical know-how to test and qualify its launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
Meanwhile, the ISRO chairman inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at Bellatrix Aerospace on the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru earlier this week.
According to ISRO, this privately financed drive laboratory has its own facilities for developing and testing electrical and environmentally friendly chemical drive technologies.
Dr. Sivan appreciated the young team for building the state-of-the-art facility, which houses equipment such as integrated high-vacuum thermal test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant processing facilities, and specialized high-temperature coating facilities.