Launchapalooza: 26 New Boosters Debuting Worldwide

Vega-C lifts off on its maiden flight on July 13, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the first seven months of the year, five new satellite launch vehicles from Europe, China, Russia and South Korea flew successfully for the first time. As impressive as that is, it was a mere opening act to a busy period that could see at least 20 additional launchers debut around the world.

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Agnikul Cosmos Signs MOU to Use ISRO Facilities to Develop Launch Vehicle

Agnibaan small-satellite launcher (Credit: Agnikul Cosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Indian startup Agnikul Cosmos signed a framework memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s Department of Space on Friday for access to ISRO facilities and expertise for the development of its two-stage small-satellite Agnibaan launch vehicle.

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Space Tech Startup Agnikul Raises $11M in Series A Round Led by Mayfield India

Existing investors – Speciale Invest, pi Ventures, and Artha Ventures – along with prominent angels including, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Anand Mahindra,, Aarthi Ramamurthy, and Sriram Krishnan invested in this round

CHENNAI, India, May 19, 2021 (Agnikul PR) — Space tech startup,Agnikul today announced raising $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Mayfield India, making it the largest funding round for a private Indian space technology company in India. Existing investors pi Ventures, Speciale Invest, and Artha Ventures also invested in this round. The round also saw participation from BEENEXT, Globevestor, LionRock Capital and prominent angel investors Anand Mahindra, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Nithin Kamath, Abhishek Singhania, Aarthi Ramamurthy; and Sriram Krishnan, Anicut Angel Fund, among others. As a part of the round, Mayfield India’s managing partner Vikram Godse will be joining the board of the company. The funds will be deployed to strengthen the technology infrastructure, expand ground testing and build a world class team to help Agnikul become India’s first private player to launch satellites in space.

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Agnikul Cosmos Becomes the First Company to Sign an Agreement With ISRO Under the Newly Proposed IN-SPACe Entity

CHENNAI, India, December 8, 2020 (Agnikul Cosmos PR) — The Department of Space (DoS) and Agnikul Cosmos Private Limited, an IIT Madras based launch vehicle startup, are pleased to announce that they have signed a non-disclosure agreement under the newly proposed IN-SPACe entity. Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) is an independent nodal agency under DoS for allowing space activities and usage of DOS owned facilities by private organizations as well as to prioritise the launch manifest.

Under the agreement, Agnikul will be able to work with various Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) centers to get access to technical information and facilities necessary to go forward with their launch vehicle development that will enable rapid space access to anyone launching a small satellite. This is a significant step & the first such step by the Department of Space in mentoring private players to collaborate with ISRO.

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Private Launch Company Agnikul Cosmos Signs NDA that Allows Access to ISRO Facilities

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — Department of Space has today (3rd Dec. 2020) entered into a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with M/s Agnikul Cosmos Pvt. Ltd, a Chennai based start-up company located in the National Centre for Combustion R&D, IITM, Chennai building private small satellite launch vehicle.

Under the NDA, the company will be enabled for accessing the facilities and technical expertise available in ISRO centers to proceed with their launch vehicle development program.

The agreement is the first one of its kind, the Department has signed after the establishment of IN-SPACe, the authorization and regulatory body under DOS for enabling private players to undertake space activities in India.

The NDA was signed in the presence of Dr. K Sivan, Secretary, DOS/ Chairman, ISRO, and Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras. Shri R Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, was the signatory on behalf of Department of Space for the NDA with M/S Agnikul Cosmos Pvt Ltd. Shri Srinath Ravichandran, CEO, Aginukul signed the NDA on behalf of the company.

Dr K Sivan along with ISRO Centre Directors; Shri S Somanath, Director, VSSC, Dr V Narayanan, Director, LPSC, Shri Sam Dayala Dev, Director, IISU and Shri K Alagavelu, Director, IPRC assured all support to M/s Agnikul for testing and qualifying their launch vehicle.

The event ended with the wishes from the ISRO team to Agnikul for a grand success in their Space endeavor.

Indian Startup to Test Smallsat Launcher in Alaska

Indian startup Agnikul Cosmos Launch Vehicles has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to test its Agnibaan booster at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska on Kodiak Island.

The agreement commits Agnikul and Alaska Aerospace Corporation to working together to obtain regulatory and export control approvals from the Indian and American governments for an initial test launch in 2022, CNBC TV18 reports.

“We are thrilled Agnikul has partnered with Alaska Aerospace for high inclination flight testing. Agnikul has established itself as a leading rocket technology company, and we are pleased Alaska’s proven launch infrastructure and expertise continue to attract new space launch companies from around the world,” said Mark Lester, president and CEO of Alaska Aerospace.

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