India’s first private launch pad unveiled at Sriharikota | India News
The facility, which was designed by Agnikul and executed in support with Isro and IN-SPACe, has two sections — the Agnikul launch pad and the Agnikul mission control centre. All critical systems connecting these two sections — which are 4 km away from each other — will ensure 100% operationality during countdown. “The launch pad is specifically built keeping in mind the ability to support liquid-stage controlled launches, while also addressing the need for Isro’s range operations team to monitor key flight safety parameters during launches,” Agnikul said in a statement.
Hailing the development, space minister Jitendra Singh told
the launch of the country’s first privately built rocket Vikram-S and opening of the first private launch pad in a span of just a few days are the results of the unlocking of the space sector that has given a big boost to private players. “I hope this new private launch pad will serve as the launch pad for the private sector to scale new heights.”
After inaugurating the facility, Isro chairman S Somanath said now India can travel to space from one more space platform. The launch pad is specifically built keeping in mind the ability to support liquid-stage controlled launches while also addressing the need for Isro’s range operations team to monitor key flight safety parameters during launches. Additionally, it has the ability to, as necessary, share data and other critical information with Isro’s mission control centre.
Agnikul’s first launch, which will be a controlled and guided mission, having a vertical launch, using its patented engine will happen from this launch pad. The mission would be a technology demonstrator that will mirror Agnikul’s orbital launch but at a reduced scale.
Its Agnibaan rocket is a highly customisable, two-stage launch vehicle, capable of taking up to 100 kg payload to orbits around 700 km high (low Earth orbits) and enables plug-and-play configuration. Its Agnilet is the world’s first single-piece 3D printed engine fully designed and manufactured in India and was successfully test-fired in early 2021. Agnikul had then become the first company in the country to test its engines at Isro.
Moin SPM, co-founder, Agnikul, said, “We never imagined to have Agnikul’s launch pad inside Sriharikota for our launches and this has only been possible with the support of Isro and IN-SPACe. The new reforms that have been brought in by the department of space truly accommodate everyone’s dream of going to space.”
CAPTION: 1. Isro chairman S Somanath with other senior officials of Isro and Agnikul during the inauguration of the country’s first private launchpad at the Sriharikota space centre complex. 2. Isro chairman Somanath at the mission control centre of Agnikul Cosmos.
Credit: Agnikul Cosmos