Latest UpdatesScience & TechnologyAgnikul Cosmos Makes History with World’s First 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Launch

Agnikul Cosmos Makes History with World’s First 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Launch

In a groundbreaking achievement for the Indian space sector, startup Agnikul Cosmos has successfully launched “Agnibaan – SOrTeD,” the world’s first rocket powered by a fully 3D-printed engine. This mission marks a significant milestone for India’s burgeoning private space industry. The launch took place from India’s first-ever privately-developed launchpad, “Dhanush,” established by Agnikul at Sriharikota.

The rocket, powered by India’s first indigenously designed and manufactured semi-cryogenic engine, soared skyward at 7:15 AM IST. Serving as a test flight to gather critical data for Agnikul’s upcoming orbital launch vehicle, “Agnibaan,” the successful launch of “Agnibaan – SOrTeD” (Sub-Orbital Technology Demonstrator) underscores the company’s innovative prowess.

The event was witnessed by prominent figures in the Indian space community, including Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr. S. Somanath and IN-SPACe Chairman Dr. Pawan Goenka. Dr. Somanath congratulated Agnikul, emphasizing that the launch “demonstrate[s] the prowess of indigenous design and innovation” and highlights the potential of private players in India’s space ambitions. Dr. Goenka echoed these sentiments, stating that the event “marks a significant moment for private players who are contributing to growing India’s space sector.”

Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd.), Director General of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), remarked, “What Agnikul has achieved today is nothing short of a historical milestone since India launched its maiden rocket in 1963 from Thumba launch station. Agnibaan SOrTeD has got many firsts in its strides with being India’s first launch from a private launchpad, the first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch, and the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed engine designed and built indigenously. This is a huge boost and a proud moment for India’s thriving private space industry and just a glimpse into what the future holds for us. Our hearty congratulations to the entire team behind this and best wishes for their future efforts. This significant launch, coupled with the recently introduced guidelines for the implementation of the Indian Space Policy 2023 by IN-SPACe and the new FDI regulations, will undoubtedly bolster global confidence in India’s private space industry and its growing capabilities.”

Agnikul, incubated at IIT Madras, aims to democratize access to space by offering affordable and customizable launch solutions. The company’s flagship “Agnibaan” rocket is designed for a payload capacity ranging from 30 kg to 300 kg, catering to a wide range of mission requirements. With this successful launch, Agnikul has its sights set on an orbital mission by the end of 2025, marking a new era for private space exploration in India.

The successful deployment of Agnibaan – SOrTeD is not just a technical triumph but a significant step towards the realization of a vibrant and competitive space ecosystem in India. As Agnikul continues to push the boundaries of innovation and cost-efficiency, it is poised to become a key player on the global stage, contributing to the democratization of space access and fostering international collaborations. This mission has undoubtedly set the stage for exciting developments in India’s space journey, heralding a future where private enterprises play a crucial role in advancing space exploration and technology.

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