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Indian space startup Agnikul makes history with world’s first 3D-printed rocket engine launch

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Indian space startup Agnikul makes history with world’s first 3D-printed rocket engine launch
An important turning point for India’s developing private space industry is this mission.

The world’s first rocket propelled entirely by 3D printing, “Agnibaan – SOrTeD,” was successfully launched by startup Agnikul Cosmos, marking a significant milestone for the Indian space industry. The launch occurred from “Dhanush,” India’s first privately-developed launchpad, which Agnikul also built in Sriharikota.

An important turning point for India’s developing private space industry is this mission. At 7:15 AM IST today, the rocket—which was propelled by the country’s first locally developed and produced semi-cryogenic engine—took off into the sky.

The successful launch of Agnikul’s “Agnibaan – SOrTeD” (Sub-Orbital Technology Demonstrator) serves as a test flight to collect vital data for the company’s upcoming orbital launch vehicle, “Agnibaan,” and highlights its revolutionary capabilities.

Prominent members of the Indian space community, including Dr. S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Dr. Pawan Goenka, Chairman of IN-SPACe, saw the event.

While congratulating Agnikul, Dr. Somanath underlined that the launch “demonstrate[s] the prowess of indigenous design and innovation” and that it opens up new opportunities for private companies to contribute to India’s space initiatives.

Similar remarks were made by Dr. Goenka, who said that the occasion “marks a significant moment for private players who are contributing to growing India’s space sector.”

“What Agnikul has achieved today is nothing short of a historical milestone since India launched its maiden rocket in 1963 from Thumba launch station,” stated Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd.), Director General, Indian Space Association (ISpA). The world’s first single-piece 3D printed engine that was designed and manufactured in India, the first launch from a private launchpad, and the first rocket launch powered by a semi-cryogenic engine are just a few of the firsts achieved by Agnibaan SOrTeD. Our sincere congratulations go out to the entire team behind this, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours. This is a significant boost and a proud milestone for India’s developing private space industry, and it’s just the beginning of what lies ahead. This noteworthy debut, together with the recently released rules for the The new FDI regulations and the execution of the Indian Space Policy 2023 by IN-SPACe would surely increase international trust in India’s developing private space sector.

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Developed at IIT Madras, Agnikul provides scalable and reasonably priced launch systems with the goal of democratising space access. The “Agnibaan” rocket, which is the company’s flagship model, may carry up to 300 kg of payload, depending on the needs of the mission. Agnikul hopes to launch an orbital mission by the end of 2025, ushering in a new era for Indian private space research, with this successful launch.

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