The Department of Space (DoS) has signed a framework MoU with aerospace technology startup Agnikul Cosmos to allow the aerospace startup access to Indian Space Research Organization facilities (ISRO).
The pact will enable Agnikul Cosmos based in National Centre for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras, Chennai, access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems and systems of space launch vehicles.
The startup can now undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centers to test and qualify its single-piece 3D printed Semi Cryo engines.
ISRO Framework MOU
The Centre’s draft National Space Transportation Policy envisages continued focus on research and development of green fuel and better propulsion technology. Earlier this year, the startup raised $11 million in Series A funding, tweeted that low-Earth orbit looked close with this level of government support.
Agnikul Cosmos officials also met ISRO Chairman and Department of Science Secretary K. Sivan, who assured support for qualifying its launch-vehicle systems. Agnikul said the agreement would formally enable it to go forward with its testing plans at ISRO.
ISRO’s Scientific Secretary and Chairman, Interim IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre) Committee, R Umamaheswaran, signed the agreement on Friday on behalf of DoS and Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran inked it from the company side.
ISRO sees startups as its new-age industry partners
Last week, the Department of Science signed a similar MoU with Hyderabad-based startup Skyroot Aerospace to access ISRO expertise and facilities to develop and test space-launch vehicle subsystems and systems.
Earlier this week, Sivan inaugurated Bellatrix Aerospace’s spacecraft research laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru. Infrastructure for the privately funded propulsion lab includes in-house facilities to develop and test green and electric chemical propulsion technologies, ISRO said.
Sivan hailed the young team for setting up the state-of-the-art facility with equipment such as catalytic reactors, integrated thermal high-vacuum test facilities, specialized high-temperature coating facilities, and propellant preparation facilities.
ISRO views Startups as forces of disruption, which come up with innovative ideas for real-time problems and would propel India in fulfilling its space dreams. The department has initiated many steps to boost startup participation in space activities.