Agnikul’s Agnibaan SoRTed-01 takes flight

Chennai-based space startup Agnikul Cosmos has achieved a significant feat with the successful suborbital test flight of its indigenously developed rocket, Agnibaan. This marks a major milestone for India’s private space sector, making Agnikul Cosmos the second private company to launch a launch vehicle, following Skyroot Aerospace’s Vikram-S launch in November 2022.

The Agnibaan’s journey to success wasn’t without hurdles. After encountering technical glitches during pre-launch checks, Agnikul had to abort two initial launch attempts. However, perseverance paid off, and on Thursday, the Agnibaan soared into the sky from its launchpad at Sriharikota.

This suborbital test flight, designated SoRTed-01 (Suborbital Technology Demonstrator), aimed to validate the rocket’s capabilities. The Agnibaan reached an altitude of eight kilometers before making a controlled descent and splashing down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 30 kilometers from the launch site. Notably, the rocket did not carry any payload for this test flight.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Agnibaan is its engine, Agnilet. This groundbreaking engine holds the distinction of being the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed semi-cryogenic engine. This innovative technology allows Agnikul Cosmos to produce the engine in a mere three days, paving the way for potential on-demand launches from various locations.

The successful launch of Agnibaan has been met with praise from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). ISRO chairman hailed this achievement as a testament to the brilliance of young Indian innovators and a historic moment for the nation’s space sector.

This successful test flight by Agnikul Cosmos signifies a positive trajectory for India’s private space industry. It paves the way for further advancements in launch vehicle technologies and paves the way for a more robust and competitive Indian space sector.


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