The Department of Space (DoS) of the government of India, has entered into a new MoU framework with aerospace startup Agnikul Cosmos, to give them access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles.
With the MoU, the company will be allowed to undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) centres, for the testing and qualification of its single-piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems. Agnikul will also be allowed to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystem, which is based in the National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai.
The company stated that the MoU allows the company to formally start the testing and qualification process at ISRO, adding, “With this level of Govt. support, low earth orbit does look close" in a tweet. The company has raised about 11 million USD from institutions and angel investors.
ISRO's Scientific Secretary and Chairman, Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) Committee, R Umamaheswaran, signed the MoU on behalf of DoS with the company, in ISRO efforts to bring private players in the Indian Space sector.
A similar MoU has also been signed by DoS with Hyderabad based Skyroot Aerospace last week for access to ISRO facilities and expertise in the development and testing of subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles. The framework of the MoU similarly allows Skyroot to undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres and also to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
In furtherance of ISRO’s push to have private participation in its Space dreams, ISRO Chairman also inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at Bellatrix Aerospace located at the Indian Institute of Science campus. A privately funded propulsion lab has in-house facilities for the development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies.
Over the past year, ISRO has taken up the task of opening up the Indian space sector for the private sector. ISRO has brought out many reforms to boost the Indian space economy along with the works of the department of space.
Supratik Mitra is a student of political science at the University of Delhi.
While completing college, he continues to work as a reporter, working with many
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