Chennai Start-up Set to Launch First Single-Stage Rocket from Sriharikota 

In a groundbreaking development in the domain of space technology, a private Chennai-based start-up, Agnikul Cosmos, is all set to launch its indigenously developed 3D printed sub-orbital rocket, named Agnibaan SOrTeD, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.  

This event marks a significant milestone as it will be the first single-stage rocket crafted by Agnikul Cosmos, and it will take off from Sriharikota’s first private launch pad.  

Christened Agnibaan SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator (SOrTeD), this rocket will embark on a historic journey, lifting off vertically from the launch pad before executing a take-off operation to redirect its path towards the Earth. Following a 3.3-minute flight, it will then descend into the waters of the Bay of Bengal. What sets this mission apart is its manual control system, with the Agnikul team overseeing the flight sequence from the Mission Control Centre located just four kilometers away from the launch pad. 

Agnibaan SOrTeD will not be equipped with any observation instruments. The team aims to showcase the controllability of the rocket, marking a significant step forward in their journey towards space exploration. 

Established in 2017, Agnikul Cosmos has dedicated nearly a year to the preparation of this launch. Central to the rocket’s propulsion system is a semi-cryogenic engine, utilizing a combination of liquid oxygen and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). What sets this engine apart is its construction, a single-piece 3D printed marvel, a technology pioneered and patented by the Agnikul team. 

Giritharan Thiruppathirajan, the Chief of Staff working with the Cofounders Office at AgniKul Cosmos, sheds light on their innovative approach, emphasizing their ability to manufacture these engines in just 72 hours using their state-of-the-art 3D printing facility. This rapid production capability aligns with their vision of serving the expanding on-demand satellite launch market, underscoring their commitment to innovation and efficiency. 

As the launch window from March 22 to March 28 approaches, anticipation runs high for this significant occasion. With support from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) providing measurements, telecommand, and tracking assistance, Agnikul Cosmos is poised to make history with the maiden flight of Agnibaan SOrTeD.