ISRO expertise to help two space-tech start-ups test rocket systems

By: |
September 18, 2021 12:36 PM

The pact will enable Agnikul Cosmos undertake tests and access facilities at ISRO centres to testing its 3D-printed, single-piece, semi-cryo engine and other systems.

ISRO Framework MOUThe Centre’s draft National Space Transportation Policy envisages continued focus on research and development of green fuel. (File)

The Department of Space has signed a framework MoU with Agnikul Cosmos that will allow the aerospace start-up access to Indian Space Research Organisation facilities and expertise for the development and testing of space-launch vehicle subsystems/systems, Press Trust of India reported.

The pact will enable Agnikul Cosmos undertake tests and access facilities at ISRO centres to testing its 3D-printed, single-piece, semi-cryo engine and other systems.

Agnikul Cosmos, based in the National Centre for Combustion R&D at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, will also use ISRO’s technical expertise to test its launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

The MoU will formally enable Agnikul Cosmos to move forward with its plans for testing at ISRO.

The start-up, which earlier this year raised $11 million in Series A funding, tweeted that low- Earth orbit looked close with this level of government support.

Agnikul Cosmos officials also met ISRO Chairman and Department of Science Secretary K. Sivan, who assured support for qualifying its launch-vehicle systems.

The Department of Science last week signed a similar MoU with Skyroot Aerospace, a Hyderabad-based start-up, for access to ISRO expertise and facilities to develop and test space-launch vehicle subsystems/systems.

Earlier this week, Sivan inaugurated Bellatrix Aerospace’s spacecraft research laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru. Infrastructure for the privately funded propulsion lab includes in-house facilities to develop and test green and electric chemical propulsion technologies, ISRO said.

The Centre’s draft National Space Transportation Policy envisages continued focus on research and development of green fuel, while encouraging private players to invest in the space sector with policy reforms.

According to the draft policy, it was essential to have focused research on new propulsion systems based on green propellants.

Sivan hailed the young team for setting up the state-of-the art facility with equipment such as catalytic reactors, integrated thermal high-vacuum test facilities, specialised high-temperature coating facilities, and propellant preparation facilities.

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