|Agnikul’s launch vehicle Agnibaan (left), 3-D printed rocket engine Agnilet (background, right) and 3-D printed cryogenic pump (front, right). (AGNIKUL)|
Indian space-tech startup Agnikul today announced that the Government of India has awarded it the patent for the design and manufacturing of its single-piece rocket engines.
As per Agnikul, one such single-piece engine called Agnilet is the world’s first single-piece 3D printed rocket engine, designed and manufactured in India. The engine was successfully test-fired in early 2021.
Agnikul showcased this engine at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2021, Dubai, which is one of the most prestigious space tech gatherings in the world.
Agnikul also recently announced the inauguration of its Rocket Factory- 1, which it says is India’s first-ever rocket facility dedicated to 3D print such rocket engines at scale situated at the IIT Madras Research Park.
According to Agnikul, the new production house houses world-class machinery, including a 400mm x 400mm x 400mm metal 3D printer from EOS, and a host of other machines that will enable end-to-end manufacturing of a rocket engine under one roof.
Founded in 2017 by Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM & Prof. SR Chakravarthy (from IIT Madras), Agnikul is an IIT Madras incubated startup that became the first Indian company to sign an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in December 2020. The agreement signed under the IN-SPACe initiative helps Agnikul access ISRO’s expertise and facilities to test its systems.
Agnikul has raised a total funding of Rs 105 crore ($15 million) from Mayfield India, pi Ventures, Speciale Invest, and a host of others including prominent angels such as Anand Mahindra and Naval Ravikant since 2019.