Agnibaan rocket is India’s first with a semi-cryogenic engine: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The IIT Madras’ startup Agnikul’s maiden rocket mission is India’s first flight with a semi-cryogenic engine, said Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday.

The rocket Agnibaan SOrTeD (SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator) is indigenously designed and manufactured. It was launched from India’s first privately developed launchpad called ‘Dhanush’ established by Agnikul at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 7:15 a.m. on Thursday. The launchpad is located inside ISRO’s rocket port in Sriharikota.

“Congratulations AgnikulCosmos, IITMadras. Agnikul successfully completed its first launch from Agnikul’s own and India’s only private launchpad within SDSC-SHAR (Satish Dhawan Space Centre- Sriharikota Range),” the minister said in a post on social media platform X.

“Besides being the world’s first flight with a single piece 3D printed rocket engine, this controlled flight is also India’s first flight with a semi-cryogenic engine,” he added.

Chandrasekhar also lauded the rocket for its “completely in-house design”.

Agnibaan is a two-stage rocket with a capacity to carry up to 300 kg to a height of 700 km, powered by liquid oxygen/kerosene.

Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu called the launch “rocket science”.

“Great achievement by the AgniKul team – congratulations on the successful completion of your first flight. This is truly “rocket science” and I am in awe of the tireless effort it must have taken,” Vembu said on X.

Stating that the “nation needs these capabilities” he shared “best wishes for building a big business from this technological foundation”.

The private rocket maker’s maiden test flight aims to demonstrate the in-house and homegrown technologies, gather crucial flight data, and ensure the optimal functioning of systems for its orbital launch vehicle the ‘Agnibaan’ by the end of the financial year of 2025.

“What Agnikul has achieved today, is nothing short of a historical milestone, since India launched its maiden rocket in 1963 from Thumba launch station,” said Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt (Retd), Director General, Indian Space Association (ISpA), in a statement.

He called it a “huge boost and a proud moment for India’s thriving private space industry”.

Congratulating the team on their success, he said it’s “just a glimpse into what the future holds for us”.

Together with the “recently introduced guidelines for the implementation of the Indian Space Policy 2023 by IN-SPACe and the new FDI regulations, this will undoubtedly bolster global confidence in India’s private space industry and its growing capabilities,” said Gen Bhatt.



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