ISRO inks MoUs with spacetech start-ups, grants access to facilities
In a milestone for private Indian aerospace start-ups, the government's Department of Space (DoS) has inked a Framework MoU with IIT-Madras start-up AgniKul Cosmos for access to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facilities. A similar MoU was signed last week with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace, granting it access to ISRO's facilities and expertise in space launch vehicle systems and subsystems. Here are more details.
New MoU helps AgniKul access ISRO's facilities and expertise
AgniKul Cosmos is based in the National Center for Combustion R&D of IIT-Madras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Its new MoU with the DoS now allows it to undertake tests and access facilities at ISRO's centers for the testing and qualification of its single-piece 3D-printed Semi Cryo engine and other systems. ISRO will also lend expertise to help qualify AgniKul's launch vehicle systems and subsystems.
AgniKul recently raised $11 million in Series A funding
AgniKul said that the MoU will formally enable it to proceed with plans to test collaboratively with ISRO. Earlier this year, the start-up raised $11 million in a Series A round led by institutional and angel investors. AgniKul's senior management met with ISRO Chairman and DoS Secretary, K Sivan, who assured complete support from the government's DoS for qualifying AgniKul's launch vehicle systems.
Low Earth orbit does look close: AgniKul Cosmos
Humbled to sign this MoU with the Dept. of Space which will formally enable us to go forward with our testing plans at ISRO. With this level of Govt. support, low earth orbit does look close #inspace @isro #makeinindiaFortheworld @GoenkaPk @PMOIndia @narendramodi @DrJitendraSingh https://t.co/qaFs065FUr— AgniKul Cosmos (@AgnikulCosmos) September 17, 2021
Similar agreement with Skyroot Aerospace gives access to ISRO facilities
The MoU with AgniKul Cosmos was signed by the company's CEO Srinath Ravichandran while the government's approval was represented by the signature of ISRO's Scientific Secretary and Chairman for the Interim IN-SPACe Committee, R Umamaheshwaran. IN-SPACe stands for Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center. A similar MoU signed with Skyroot Aerospace gave it access to ISRO expertise to validate its satellite launch vehicles.
Sivan also inaugurated new state-of-the-art research lab at Bellatrix Aerospace
In related news, ISRO Chairman Sivan also inaugurated Bellatrix Aerospace's spacecraft research laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. This private propulsion lab has in-house facilities for developing and testing electric and eco-friendly propulsion technologies. Sivan reportedly appreciated the team for establishing the state-of-the-art facility that's home to thermal high vacuum testing facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, and high-temperature coating facilities.