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IIT Madras-incubated Agnikul Cosmos makes history, launches world's first 3D printed, semi cryogenic rocket engine

ISN Team
New Update
Agnikul Cosmos launches world's first 3D printed, semi cryogenic rocket engine

After four unsuccessful attempts, this IIT Madras-incubated spacetech startup has made history.

Agnikul Cosmos, an IIT Madras-incubated space startup, successfully launched its SOrTeD mission on May 30. The mission is a single-stage launch vehicle demonstration powered by a semi-cryogenic 3D-printed engine.

The launch occurred from India’s first private launchpad, ALP-01, located at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Initially scheduled for April 7, the launch was postponed due to technical issues and finally took off at 7:15 am on May 30.

What makes this mission significant?


The SOrTeD mission, which lasted approximately two minutes, marked a significant achievement in the development of indigenous space technology in India.

It featured a 6.2-meter-tall single-stage launch vehicle with an elliptical nose cone, advanced avionics architecture, and autopilot software developed in-house.

The vehicle was powered by the Agnilet engine, the world's first single-piece 3D-printed semi-cryogenic rocket engine. The mission included precise manoeuvers such as a pitch-over manoeuver and wind biasing before splashing down in the Bay of Bengal. 

ISRO and other notable personalities reaction

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in a post on X, congratulated Agnikul Cosmos, stating, "Congratulations Agnikul Cosmos for the successful launch of the Agnibaan SoRTed-01 mission from their launch pad. A major milestone, as the first-ever controlled flight of a semi-cryogenic liquid engine realized through additive manufacturing."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the Agnikul team, saying, "A remarkable feat which will make the entire nation proud!" on his X (formerly Twitter) post.

"Congrats @AgnikulCosmos !!! @IITMadras incubated Agnikul successfully completes world’s 1st rocket launch from India’s 1st & only private launchpad within SDSC-SHAR. It's the world’s 1st flight with single-piece 3D printed rocket engine. @satchakra_iitm @isro @EduMinOfIndia," IIT Madras wrote. 

What is the potential impact of this launch?

The successful launch of the SOrTeD mission is a significant step forward for Agnikul Cosmos, which is targeting the multi-billion-dollar small satellite launch market.

The data collected from this mission will help refine the development of the Agnibaan launch vehicle.

The Agnibaan is expected to be highly customizable and capable of carrying a 300 kg payload to a 700 km orbit. The technology has the potential to revolutionize small satellite launches, making them more accessible and cost-effective.

The launch was witnessed by several dignitaries, including Dr. S. Somanath, Chairman of ISRO; Dr. Pawan Goenka, Chairman of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe); Rajeev Jyoti, Director (Technical) of IN-SPACe; and A. Raj Rajan, Director of the Sriharikota Range (SHAR). Key members of Agnikul’s team included Prof. Satyanarayanan R. Chakravarthy, Founding Advisor; Srinath Ravichandran, Co-Founder and CEO; Moin SPM, Co-Founder and COO; Saraniya Periaswamy, Vehicle Director of Agnibaan SOrTeD; and Umamaheswari K., Project Director of Mission-01 and Agnibaan SOrTeD.