In a bold and first-of-its-kind move, Chennai-based startup Agnikul Cosmos, which is also amongst the first to provide for small satellites, has become the first private player in the field of Indian Space Exploration. Recently, the startup signed a non-disclosure agreement with India’s Department of Space (DoS) (under which ISRO and related departments fall). Established in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran and Moin SPM, the startup is dedicated to building private launch vehicles for small satellites that fall under the 100 kg category.
The entire rocket has been built and tested at the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD), IIT Madras. What’s even more interesting is the fact that almost all of the rocket parts are made using 3D printing which helps in reducing the cost while increasing the accuracy and efficiency of design.
In many ways, we can consider Agnikul Cosmos as India’s equivalent of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. With major breakthroughs in the field of Space Technology in recent years, this is a welcome move that can result in many new explorations at lower cost. If all goes according to plan, the Indian startup may become the first private player from India to launch small satellites into space.
We’ve often heard the term ‘It’s Not Rocket Science’ implying the explicit hard job that Rocket Science is, but for co-founder Srinath, the myth is an old one. In an interview with Your Story, the co-founder said, “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.”
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