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2 startups ink deal with Department of Space, gets access to ISRO facilities

The arrangement would allow the business to conduct several tests and have access to different ISRO facilities to test and qualify its single-piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems.

2 startups ink deal with Department of Space gets access to ISRO facilities gcw
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Bengaluru, First Published Sep 18, 2021, 6:38 PM IST
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The Department of Space has signed a framework agreement with Agnikul Cosmos, an aerospace technology startup, for access to ISRO facilities and expertise in developing and testing space launch vehicle subsystems and systems. The arrangement would allow the business to conduct several tests and have access to different ISRO facilities to test and qualify its single-piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems.

It would also allow Agnikul, situated at IIT-Madras' National Centre for Combustion R&D in Chennai, to use ISRO's technical knowledge to test and validate its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. According to Agnikul, the deal would legally let the company proceed with its testing plans at ISRO. "With this level of government backing, low earth orbit does appear close," the firm tweeted earlier this year, after raising USD 11 million in a Series A round from institutional and angel investors.

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Top Agnikul personnel met with K Sivan, the Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of ISRO, who promised them of the Department's full assistance in certifying Agnikul launch vehicle systems. R Umamaheswaran, ISRO's Scientific Secretary and Chairman of the Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) Committee, and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran signed the agreement on Friday on behalf of DoS. Last week, the Department of Space signed a similar deal with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace for access to ISRO facilities and expertise in developing and testing space launch vehicle components and systems.

The Framework MoU will allow the business to conduct numerous tests and have access to ISRO facilities and use ISRO's technical experience to test and validate its space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. Meanwhile, the ISRO Chairman opened a spacecraft research facility at Bellatrix Aerospace on the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru earlier this week. According to ISRO, this privately financed propulsion facility includes in-house facilities for developing and testing electric and green chemical propulsion systems.

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