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Chennai-based Agnikul prepares for maiden sub-orbital flight of Agnibaan rocket

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NEW DELHI, Aug 17 (PTI): After Skyroot Aerospace, Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos is all set to carry
out the sub-orbital test flight of its 3D-printed rocket Agnibaan SubOrbital Technological
Demonstrator (SOrTeD)from its launch pad at Sriharikota.
The single-stage rocket powered by Agnilet semi-cryogenic engine was wheeled for integration with
Agnikul’s launch pad at Sriharikota on Tuesday and carrying out mechanical and electrical interface
checks.
Agnibaan SOrTeD is a single-stage launch vehicle driven by Agnikul’s patented Agnilet engine – an
entirely 3D-printed, single-piece, 6 kN semi-cryogenic engine, a company statement said.
”Agnikul plans to complete its first flight in the coming few weeks,” it said.
Agnibaan SOrTeD was unveiled on August 15 at Agnikul’s Mission Control Center (AMCC) at
Sriharikota in the presence of officials from the Satish Dhawan Space Center Director A Rajarajan
and officials from the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center.
Unlike traditional sounding rockets that launch from guide rails, Agnibaan SOrTeD will lift off
vertically and follow a predetermined trajectory while performing a precisely orchestrated set of
manoeuvres during flight, it 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,” Srinath Ravichandran, co-founder and Chief
Executive Officer of Agnikul Cosmos said in a statement.
Last November, Agnikul inaugurated India’s first private launchpad and mission control centre at
Satish Dhawan Space Centre, which would serve as the base from which the start-up intends to
execute its suborbital and orbital missions in the coming years.
”This vehicle standing on the launch pad is a testament of everyone’s hard work in the team,” said
Moin SPM, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Agnikul.
Established in 2017 by Ravichandran, Moin and Prof S R Chakravarthy, from IIT Madras, Agnikul’s
primary objective is to democratise space exploration by making it both accessible and cost-
effective.
Skyroot Aerospace became the first private company to carry out a sub-orbital flight in the country
in November last year when the Vikram-S rocket took off from ISRO’s launch pad at Sriharikota and
hit a peak altitude of 89.5 kilometres.

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