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Suborbital Tech Demonstrator : Single-stage Launch Vehicle 

Recently, AgniKul Cosmos, a space tech start-up based in Chennai, Suborbital Tech Demonstrator : Single-stage Launch Vehicle..

Why in News?

Recently, AgniKul Cosmos, a space tech start-up based in Chennai, set to launch their groundbreaking Agnibaan SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator (SOrTeD), the world’s first 3D-printed rocket into space.

  • AgniKul Cosmos’ journey is supported by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).

What is Agnikul’s space vehicle?

  • It’s a Suborbital Tech Demonstrator (SorTeD) single-stage launch vehicle, called Agnibaan, which is driven by the company’s patented Agnilet engine. 
  • Agnibaan SOrTeD will lift off vertically & follow a predetermined trajectory. It can carry payloads up to 100 kg to a low Earth orbit (LEO) up to 700 km. 

What sort of engine does Agnikul have?

  • The Agnilet engine is an entirely 3D-printed, single-piece, 6 kN semi-cryogenic engine.
    • In 2021, Skyroot had successfully demonstrated the country’s first privately developed cryogenic engine, Dhawan-1, which too was completely 3D printed, using a superalloy, by a process that cut the manufacturing time by 95 per cent.
  • The Agnilet engine uses a mixture of liquid kerosene at room temperature and supercooled liquid oxygen as propellant.

What is the space vehicle of Agnikul? 

  •  It is a Suborbital Tech Demonstrator (SorTeD) single-stage launch vehicle called Agnibaan, powered by the company’s proprietary Agnilet engine. 
  • Agnibaan SorTeD takes off vertically and follows a predetermined trajectory.
  • It can carry a payload of up to 100 kg into low Earth orbit (LEO) to a distance of up to 700 km. 

Current Status of Indian Space Sector 

  • India’s space industry accounted for just under 3% of the fast-growing global space economy, which was already worth at least $360 billion.  
  • Indian industry cannot compete globally because its role has traditionally been to supply components and sub-systems. 
  • Indian industry did not have the resources or  technology to undertake the kind of independent space projects  that companies like SpaceX did in the US. 
  • Even in India, ISRO could not keep pace with the growing demand for space-based applications and services. 
  • Therefore, in June 2020, the government approved the establishment of the Indian National Center for Space Promotion and Licensing (IN-SPACe) to ensure greater participation of the private sector in Indian space activities and revitalize the sector. 

What are the benefits of privatization of ISRO? 

  • The private participation will free up ISRO to focus on science, R&D, interplanetary exploration and strategic launches. 
  • Too many of ISRO’s resources are currently consumed by routine activities that delay its more strategic goals. 
  • Commercial Advantages: It does not make sense for ISRO to launch weather or communication satellites alone.
    • More and more private entrepreneurs are taking over this activity for commercial interests. 
  • ISRO Revenue: ISRO can earn  money by providing facilities and data  to private players.  
  • It is not that private players have siphoned off the revenue that ISRO receives from commercial launches. 
  • “Explosive growth” of the space economy is expected  in the coming years, and there would be  enough for everyone.

Read also:- National Deep Tech Startup Policy

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