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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Agnikul Cosmos Inaugurates India’s First Rocket Engine Factory in Chennai 

The newest facility for Chennai-based space tech startup Agnikul signifies its transition from research and development to production

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

INDIA: A startup in India developing space technology, Agnikul today announced launching its Rocket Factory 1, the country’s first-ever rocket facility specialising in large-scale 3D printed rocket engines. The Chief Guest, Shri N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, and the Guest of Honor, Shri S. Somanath, Chairman of ISRO and Secretary of the Department of Space, inaugurated the rocket facility at IIT Madras Research Park during a launch event.

Agnikul’s Rocket Factory 1, a facility unlike any other, is a brand-new, cutting-edge manufacturing facility that is home to top-tier equipment, including a 400mm x 400mm x 400mm metal 3D printer from EOS and a host of other machines that will enable end-to-end manufacturing of a rocket engine under one roof.

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Additionally, the factory’s capacity to build two rocket engines every week was considered when designing it. This is a crucial step in making Agnikul’s partnership with EOS as their 3D printing partner for engines, which they had agreed to in 2021, come to fruition.

Agnibaan is a two-stage launch vehicle with a high degree of adaptability that can carry up to 100 kg of payload into low. 

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Earth orbits which are 700 km high. It also supports plug-and-play configuration. The world’s first single-piece 3D-printed engine, called Agnilet, was developed and produced entirely in India and successfully tested in early 2021. Agnikul displayed this engine at IAC 2021 in Dubai, the world’s most renowned space technology conference.

Srinath Ravichandran, Co-founder and CEO of Agnikul, commented on their new facility, saying, “This represents the beginning of a new chapter – a phase where we go into scaling & production from R&D & testing. I am incredibly proud of our team and appreciate their zeal and dedication to making our vision a reality.”

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Agnikul, a company founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM, and Prof. SR Chakravarthy (from IIT Madras), aims to make space accessible and inexpensive while supporting the goal of the Honourable Prime Minister to enable the construction of Aatamanirbhar Bharat.

In December 2020, the startup founded by IIT Madras became the first organisation in India to secure a contract with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Agnikul was granted permission to use the facilities and knowledge of the Indian space agency under the terms of the agreement inked as part of the IN-SPACe plan to build Agnibaan.

Since 2019, Agnikul has raised a total of INR 105 Crores ($15Mn) in funding from Mayfield India, pi Ventures, Speciale Invest, and several additional investors, including well-known angel investors like Anand Mahindra and Naval Ravikant.

Also Read: James Webb Space Telescope Releases Stunning New Pictures Of Universe

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  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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