Dreams beyond sky! IIT-Madras incubated ‘Agnikul’ becomes 1st Indian start-up to launch small satellites in space

News Bharati    30-May-2019



Chennai, May 30: World is advancing in space technology every day. After all this advancement in space technology, yet the launching of the satellite is a challenging task. There are very few agencies which are capable of such launches. It takes at least 24 months for a small satellite, weighing less than 500 kg, to enter the earth’s orbit. And the reason for the delay is because there aren’t any dedicated launch vehicles built for such small satellites.

In the quest of finding a solution to this meticulous job, the Agnikul Cosmos, IIT-Madras incubated startup bring a solution. The Agnikul started by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM in 2017, the startup provides a dedicated launch vehicle for smaller satellites at a lower cost.

Apart from this, the main reason for the popularity of Agnikul is its launch time period.

According to the founders, the startup assures to put small satellites (below 500 kg) into low-Earth orbit in just two weeks.

This miracle is a byproduct of hard work of Agnikul’s team of engineers. The small but efficient team builds an entire rocket and carries out it’s testing at the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD), at IIT Madras.

The sky is ‘not’ a limit-

While talking about this whole enterprise, Srinath (Founder of startup) said, “Demystifying rocket science (as much as it can possibly be demystified, at least), You respect it, but you don’t worship it. Rocket science is hard, but it is still achievable by people. For instance, the average age of people who built the vehicle for the Apollo Mission in 1969 was 26, and this is what we tell our team regularly, that nothing is impossible”.

 

Fascinatingly, most part of the rocket built by Agnikul is 3D printed. It’s a boon, as the founders explain.

Because 3D printing the rocket deducts the overall manufacturing cost with pinpoint accuracy in terms of the overall design. At present, the team is working on the research and testing part of its launch vehicle at NCCRD lab.

Over the years, the Indian aerospace industry has achieved major breakthroughs. But Agnikul promises to be the first Indian startup to put small satellites into space. As Moin says, if the money flows in, by 2021 they will become India’s first startup to launch a vehicle in space.

The startup had previously raised Rs 3 crore in seed funding from Vishesh Rajaram and Arjun Rao from Speciale Invest.