India's emerging private space sector

Vamsi

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The startup is planning a test launch of its two-stage booster Agnibaan in December 2022. And, based on the findings of the test launch, the startup plans to conduct a commercial launch with customer payloads in March or April 2023, Ravichandran said.
So, it's not sub-orbital flight??
 

Swesh

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How will they do commercial launch in first orbital launch itself?
But they have involved forigen space agency earlier back in 2020 they signed MoU with amarican launch spaceport to launch their rocket from there.
 

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The startup is planning a test launch of its two-stage booster Agnibaan in December 2022. And, based on the findings of the test launch, the startup plans to conduct a commercial launch with customer payloads in March or April 2023, Ravichandran said.
In March/April it is most likely orbital launch
How will they do commercial launch in first orbital launch itself?
If December launch is a two-stage rocket, it will definitely be orbital.
 

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@Swesh Right time to get a separate thread for AgniKul too?
Yes indeed
AgniKul though hasn't given plans for bigger rockets already like Skyroot but it certainly has higher thrust liquid fueled engines, has announced intention to cluster them (to make a bigger rocket). That experience might excel ahead of any Indian space company in a short period of time.
Since, they even have already a commercial mission booked in March, I would call them ahead of curve of Skyroot already.
 

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Isro to encourage start-ups in building launch pads
It is not a one element thing. Start-ups can engage in any activity, including, building satellites, applications and payloads
ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, Union Minister Jitendra Singh, IN-SPACe Chairman Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka are seen displaying the Vikram-S rocket model, built by a start-up M/s Skyroot Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Friday. Pawan Kumar and Naga Bharat of Skyroot Aerospace are also seen.  — By Arrangement

ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, Union Minister Jitendra Singh, IN-SPACe Chairman Dr Pawan Kumar Goenka are seen displaying the Vikram-S rocket model, built by a start-up M/s Skyroot Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Friday. Pawan Kumar and Naga Bharat of Skyroot Aerospace are also seen. — By Arrangement
NELLORE: ISRO chairman S. Somanath on Friday announced that they are ready to facilitate private sector in building launch pads or other infrastructure necessary for launching their rockets.
He was responding to a question during a press conference at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar Sriharikota, after the successful launch of Vikram-S rocket developed by Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aero Space.
“If start-ups are interested in building launch pads at Shar or anywhere in the country, we will encourage them. It is not a one element thing. Start-ups can engage in any activity, including, building satellites, applications and payloads,” Somanath clarified.
Reacting to a question on possibility of private sector playing a role in the defence sector, he said there are 75 space connected items, which will be supported by the government for development.
Union minister of state for space Jitendra Singh said India ranks number three in the start-up ecosystem in the world. He said the next 25 years are going to be very significant when India celebrates 100 years of independence in 2047.
Chairman of IN-SPACe Pawan Kumar Goenka spoke.
 

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AgniKul building their own launch pad.
Quoted @Swesh
India’s first private rocket launchpad gets ready

The launch pad work commenced six months ago and is nearing completion. It’s a miniature launch facility customised to suit our requirements.

Published: 19th November 2022 05:39 AM | Last Updated: 19th November 2022 05:39 AM | A+A A-

By SV Krishna Chaitanya
Express News Service
CHENNAI: While the country is celebrating the successful launch of Vikram-S rocket, India’s first private rocket, another spacetech company from Chennai, Agnikul Cosmos, incubated by IIT-Madras, is quietly building India’s first private launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota for its maiden rocket launch tentatively scheduled for next month.





“The launch pad work commenced six months ago and is nearing completion. It’s a miniature launch facility customised to suit our requirements. Unlike Skyroot, we can’t use ISRO’s sounding rocket complex or use PSLV/GSLV launch pads due to their sheer gigantic size for our Agnibaan rocket which will use our patented semi-cryogenic engine. We needed a modular launch pad with an umbilical tower to support the vertical launch that we are planning,” Srinath Ravichandran, CEO and co-founder, Agnikul Cosmos, told TNIE.

ISRO chairman S Somanath said the space agency welcomes private players to build infrastructure, including launch pads, at Sriharikota. “It all depends on the demand. If there is a need for more launch pads, private players are free to synergise. The space reforms introduced in 2020 were not only meant for manufacturing rockets, it can also be for ramping up infrastructure.” On why it took considerable time for the launch of Agnibaan, Srinath said, “Ours is a completely different technology.”

‘Full scale flight after successful Agnibaan launch in December’

“We will be flying a patented semi-cryogenic engine. This will be happening for the first time in the country. Unlike Skyroot’s mission, Agnibaan launch will be a near orbital flight. Though our maiden flight will also be a sub-orbital mission, the vehicle has higher capability. We just wanted to test our actual orbital flight at a smaller scale. Once the December launch is successful, we will be going for a full-scale orbital flight very shortly because almost all the systems that we will be using in an orbital flight will be tested starting from engine tanks, avionics, and flight software etc,” Srinath said.

Another difference between Vikram-S and Agnibaan is that the latter will be a controlled flight. Agnibaan will also be using a Flight Termination System supplied by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This would be the first time a system used by ISRO for its vehicles will be used for supporting a private launch vehicle built in India.

Srinath said that the credit for private space entities making rapid strides in the sector goes to the Union government, ISRO and IN-SPACe as they have opened up their facilities and expertise for development of private space launch vehicles

 

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Armenian payload that test flew on Skyroot

 

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It's interesting that there is barely, if any, talk of a competition between Skyroot and Agnikul. Nothing about being in a race to be the first to launch a rocket and/or satellite. And positively no slighting, dismissiveness, denigration of the other, even in a semi-humorous manner. The only reference to the other company, was Agnikul stating that they don't have access to the same facilities of ISRO that Skyroot does.
 

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was Agnikul stating that they don't have access to the same facilities of ISRO that Skyroot does
No, AgniKul rather stated that its rocket is a road mobile launcher based thin vehicle and it can't use ISRO's launch pads unlike Skyroot did. Off course ISRO tested AgniKul's engines in it's own test facilities.

I anyway do have a feeling that AgniKul won't take it long to surpass Skyroot by a good margin given their focus on liquid engine technology since day 1.
 

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