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India’s first privately built launchpad inaugurated | India News


BENGALURU: Space-tech start-up Agnikul on Monday said it has established India’s first launchpad designed and operated by a private player. The facility, situated at Sriharikota, was inaugurated by Isro chairman S Somanath on November 25.
The facility which was designed by Agnikul and executed with support from Isro and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) has two sections to it — the Agnikul launchpad (ALP) and the Agnikul mission control centre (AMCC).
“Critical systems connecting these two sections, which are 4km away from each other, are redundant to ensure 100% operationality during countdown. The launchpad 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.
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 launchpad. The mission would be a technology demonstrator that will mirror Agnikul’s orbital launch but at a reduced scale.
“Agnibaan is a highly customizable, 2-stage launch vehicle, capable of taking up to 100kg payload to orbits around 700km high (low Earth orbits) and enables plug-and-play configuration. 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 & became the first company in the country to test its engines at Isro,” the firm said.
Somanath was quoted as having said that the first exclusive launchpad for a private launch vehicle has come up at Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC).
“Now India can travel to space from one more space platform. Thanks to Agnikul,” Somanath added, while Agnikul’s co-founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran said the ability to launch from our own launchpad while still working with Isro’s launch operations teams is a privilege that we have been granted by Isro and IN-SPACe.
“I am deeply grateful to them for the same. It is dream come true for all of us at Agnikul to launch our vehicles from a facility we have designed and built ourselves,” he said.
Moin SPM, co-founder, Agnikul said: “We never imagined to have Agnikul’s launchpad (ALP) inside Sriharikota for our launches and this has only been possible with the consistent support of Isro and IN-SPACe. The new reforms that have been brought in by the Dept. of Space truly accommodate everyone’s dream of going to space.”

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