Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch- Details | Tech News

Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch- Details

Indian startup Agnikul achieves successful launch of its first sub-orbital test rocket, powered by innovative 3D-printed engines, after overcoming technical delays.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
| Updated on: May 30 2024, 21:52 IST
Unforgettable! ISRO’s INSAT-3D satellite snaps mesmerizing HD images of Earth with focus on India
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
1/5 Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has shared stunning images of Earth that were captured by the INSAT-3D satellite. The images were the first set of data shared by the satellite with the Indian space agency. The images of Earth showcase the different atmospheric behaviour and all this data could help researchers gain insight into the ongoing changes that are going on in quick time. (ISRO)
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
2/5 The Earth images were captured with the help of meteorological payloads technology which consists of 6 channel Imager and 19 channel Sounder. ISRO reported that these payloads were created in Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad. The images were processed at the Master Control Facility, Hasan. (ISRO)
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
3/5 The imagers in the payload captured the images with multiple spectral channels and wavelengths. This helps the equipment to gather information about the Earth’s atmospheric and surface phenomena such as clouds, aerosols, land surface temperature, vegetation health, and water vapour distribution. (ISRO)
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
4/5 The 19-channel sounder helped the payload to capture radiation emitted by different atmospheric components such as water vapour, ozone, carbon dioxide, and other gases. The payloads are also specialized in measuring the temperature of 40 geophysical data products including sea surface, land, winds, and others. (ISRO)
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
5/5 The geostationary satellite, INSAT-3DS was first launched on February 17, 2024, and now it is continuously monitoring Earth’s atmosphere, surface temperature, and other factors. The mission will help scientists to track natural calamities such as cyclones, thunderstorms, and more. (ISRO)
Indian startup Agnikul achieves milestone with successful 3D printed rocket launch
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Indian startup Agnikul achieves a milestone with successful test launch of 3D-printed rocket, advancing space technology. (@AgnikulCosmos)

Indian startup Agnikul successfully launched its inaugural sub-orbital test vehicle, marking a milestone achievement after overcoming several months of delays due to technical issues. The launch, powered by the company's innovative 3D-printed rocket engines, took place at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota island in South India.

Advanced Engineering at Work

Dubbed Agnibaan SOrTeD (Sub-Orbital Technology Demonstrator), the single-stage vehicle took off Thursday morning local time, marking a significant step forward for Agnikul's development of its Agnibaan commercial orbital launch vehicle.

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The 6.2-meter-tall rocket, constructed of carbon composite materials, houses Agnikul's proprietary 3D-printed semi-cryogenic engine, each capable of generating 6.2 kN of thrust. Agnikul CEO Srinath Ravichandran explained that the engines, crafted in-house, are produced efficiently, with a turnaround time significantly shorter than traditional methods, thanks to advanced 3D printing technology, TechCrunch reported

Challenges and Solutions

Ravichandran emphasised the uniqueness of Agnikul's approach, highlighting the single-piece construction of the core engine, which streamlines the manufacturing process and enhances flexibility. Despite other companies adopting 3D printing for rocket components, Agnikul asserts its comprehensive utilisation of the technology sets it apart, offering unparalleled adaptability and customization for space missions.

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The choice of inconel as the engine material posed challenges, particularly in heat management, prompting Agnikul to iterate extensively on cooling channel designs. Additionally, the startup prioritised safety by opting for a liquid propulsion-based system over solid-fuel alternatives, minimising hazards associated with explosive materials.

Agnikul's journey from concept to launch involved rigorous engineering and numerous iterations, underscoring the company's commitment to innovation. With support from retired ISRO scientists and collaboration with academic institutions like IIT Madras, Agnikul is poised to revolutionise India's space sector.

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The successful test launch not only validates Agnikul's technological prowess but also reflects India's growing prominence in the global space arena. With a burgeoning ecosystem of space tech startups and supportive government policies, India is primed to leverage its capabilities for commercial space ventures, ushering in a new era of space exploration and innovation.

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First Published Date: 30 May, 14:17 IST
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