On December 3, 2020, the Department of Space (DoS) has signed first one of its kind Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Agnikul Cosmos Pvt. Ltd under which the latter can access the facilities and technical expertise of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its launch vehicle development programme.
- It was signed by R Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, on behalf of DoS and Srinath Ravichandran, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Agnikul in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- As a part of MoU, ISRO will provide full support to Agnikul for testing and qualifying its launch vehicle programme small rocket that can launch 100 kg satellites into low earth orbit.
Points to be noted:
–This NDA was inked after the establishment of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), the authorization and regulatory body under DoS for enabling private players to undertake space activities in India.
–In June 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the creation of IN–SPACe.
About Agnikul Cosmos Pvt. Ltd
It is a Chennai (Tamil Nadu) based start-up located in the National Centre for combustion R&D (Research & Development) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. It builds small private satellite launch vehicles.
Other MoU of Agnikul:
- Few months ago, it had signed a memorandum of agreement (MoU) with Alaska Aerospace Corporation of the United State (US) to test-launch its Indian-made Agnibaan rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island in US. The launch from Alaska is expected to take place from 2022 onwards.
- This MoU aims to define launch vehicle-spaceport interfaces, related procedures and conduct at least one test launch from PSCA.
Recent Related News:
i.Under the ongoing collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite is scheduled to be launched by 2022.
ii.National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and ISRO will jointly launch Constellation of Maritime Surveillance Satellites for Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Satellite will trace illegal spillage of oil by ships. It will be the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Headquarters– Bangalore, Karnataka
ISRO Chairman & Secretary Department of Space (DoS)– Kailasavadivoo (K) Sivan
Co-Founder – Srinath Ravichandran, Moin SPM
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu