Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle driven by the startup’s patented Agnilet engine – a 3D-printed semi-cryogenic engine
The vehicle was unveiled at Agnikul's Mission Control Center (AMCC) after being transported to the site
The process, which started on August 15, has brought the startup closer to becoming one of the few private companies to have developed a space launch vehicle
Taking a big stride towards the launch of its maiden spaceflight, IIT Madras-based spacetech startup Agnikul Cosmos has started the integration process of its launch vehicle, Agnibaan SOrTeD (SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator), with its private launchpad located at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR at Sriharikota.
The vehicle was unveiled at Agnikul’s Mission Control Center (AMCC) after being transported to the site. The startup has not provided a specific date for the launch yet.
The process, which started on August 15, has brought the startup closer to becoming one of the select few private companies to have developed a successful space launch vehicle, following in the footsteps of the likes of SpaceX and Skyroot.
The event was attended by officials from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC), Sriharikota and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe).
Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle driven by the startup’s patented Agnilet engine – a 3D-printed, single-piece, 6 kilonewtons (kN) semi-cryogenic engine. The space launch vehicle will lift off vertically, unlike traditional vehicles that launch from guide rails, and follow a predetermined trajectory while performing a series of manoeuvres during the flight.
The flight events have been configured to validate key technologies integral to the success of Agnikul’s upcoming orbital flights, as the startup plans to complete its first flight in the weeks following the launch.
Srinath Ravichandran, cofounder and CEO of Agnikul, said, “This suborbital mission serves as a validation of the success of Agnikul’s proprietary autopilot, navigation, and guidance algorithms. It also serves as a crucial trial for gauging the launchpad’s preparedness for more ambitious undertakings.”
Founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM and SR Chakravarthy, the spacetech startup has raised a total of $34.5 Mn across six funding rounds. Its most recent funding round in November 2022 was led by Rocketship.vc and Venture Catalysts.
The startup became the first Indian company to sign an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in December 2020, which granted it access to ISRO’s expertise and facilities. In India, Agnikul competes with Skyroot, which had a successful launch last year.