The Department of Space (DoS) has signed a framework memorandum of understanding with aerospace startup Agnikul Cosmos to acquire ISRO facilities and expertise to develop and test subsystems/systems of space launch vehicles.
The memorandum of understanding will enable the company to conduct multiple testing and visit facilities at various ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) centers to test and qualify its single-piece 3D printed semi-cryogenic engines and other systems. It will also enable Agnikul, located at the IIT-Madras National Combustion Research and Development Center in Chennai, to use ISRO’s technical expertise to test and qualify its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. Agnikul stated that the memorandum of understanding will formally enable it to advance its ISRO test plan. The company raised $11 million in Series A funding from institutional and angel investors earlier this year, and wrote on Twitter: “With this level of government support, low Earth orbit does look very close.” .
Senior Agnikul officials met with DoS Secretary and ISRO Chairman K Sivan, and he assured that DoS will fully support the conformity assessment of Agnikul’s launch vehicle system. R Umamaheswaran, ISRO’s scientific secretary and chairman of the interim IN-SPACE (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center) committee, signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of DoS on Friday, and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran signed a memorandum of understanding from the company.
Last week, DoS signed a similar memorandum of understanding with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace to acquire ISRO facilities and expertise to develop and test subsystems/systems for space launch vehicles. The framework memorandum of understanding will enable the company to conduct multiple tests and visit facilities at various ISRO centers, and use ISRO’s technical expertise to test and validate its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
At the same time, earlier this week, the chairman of ISRO opened the spacecraft research laboratory of Bellatrix Aerospace, located on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science. According to ISRO, this privately funded propulsion laboratory has internal facilities for the development and testing of power and green chemical propulsion technologies. Sivan praised the young team for establishing state-of-the-art facilities, including integrated thermal high vacuum test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, and professional high-temperature coating facilities.
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