These Four Indigenious Spacetech Startups Are Taking India To New Heights
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Among the few things that are known to exist, outer space is unintelligible to humans despite having made some giant leap in the past 50 years. From the first step on the moon back in 1969 on the historic Apollo 11 mission to sending a rover to Mars, though a lot of mystery has been unveiled, it is still considered paltry with respect to what is out there.
India, a country home to great minds, has made its presence felt in the space among super powers such as the US, Russia and China. The country has achieved several feats in a short period of time. It is expected that India will reach new heights as the country’s indigenious space agency – ISRO, has now taken the space tech startups under its arms to guide, encourage and even collaborate with them.
In this article we will look at four Indian space tech startups that are working closely with the Indian space agency ISRO.
Agnikul Cosmos is a Chennai-based and an IIT-Madras incubated space tech startup developing low-cost satellite launch vehicles. The startup is backed by Indian business tycoon Anand Mahindra and has also raised INR 23.4 crore in a pre-series A funding round led by venture capitals. The startup is co-founded by Srinath Ravichandran who is also chief executive officer along with Moin SPM who is the chief operating officer. The startup claims to be India’s first private small satellite launch vehicle, Agnibaan, which is capable of carrying up 100 kg payload to low Earth orbits up to 700 km with a plug and play engine configuration.
The startup has also signed a non-disclosure agreement with the department of space (DoS) under the newly proposed IN-SPACe entity. Under the agreement, Agnikul will be able to work with various ISRO centers to get access to technical information and facilities necessary to go forward with their launch vehicle development. This is a significant step by the DoS in mentoring private players to enable them to collaborate with ISRO.
Bengaluru-based spacetech startup, Pixxel had joined hands with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO soon after the Indian government announced new space reforms. Founded by BITS Pilani graduates Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal in 2019, the startup was scheduled to launch the country’s first private remote-sensing satellite on an ISRO PSLV rocket in early 2021. However, the launch was delayed citing technical reasons. The startup has however said that it will keep notified about its future launch.
Hyderabad- based Skyroot Aerospace is building technologies for responsive, reliable and economic access to space. The startup claims to envision a future where spaceflight is as regular, reliable and affordable as airflight. Founded in 2018, by an ex-ISRO scientist Pawan Kumar Chandana along with Naga Bharath Daka, Skyroot Aerospace became the second rocket startup after Agnikul Cosmos that ISRO is helping with test facilities and knowhow for their launch vehicles. Skyroot is also developing a futuristic, highly efficient LNG/LOX Cryogenic liquid engine that uses greener, more sustainable rocket fuel.
Skyroot Aerospace is also the recipient of the National Startups Award in 2020 in the space category.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) incubated startup was founded by two 22-year-old Yashas Kharanam and Rohan M Ganapathy in 2015. The startup claims to specialise in electronic propulsions systems, rocket engines and launch vehicles. The startup has also a technology development contract from ISRO for an electric propulsion system. The startup is another recipient of the National Award Winner in the space category in 2020.