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Department of Space has signed a framework MoU with space technology start-up Agnikul Cosmos for granting access to the facilities and expertise of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in developing and testing systems and sub-systems of space launch vehicles.

Under the agreement, the start-up can undertake multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centers for testing and qualification of their single-piece, 3D printed, semi-cryogenic engine and other systems. The MoU also enables Agnikul to avail technical expertise of the Indian space agency for testing and qualifying their space launch vehicle systems and sub-systems.

Also Read: Top 3 Indian companies in the space race

Last month, Agnikul Cosmos had partnered with 3D printing technology company EOS India to expand their synergy in 3D printing for rockets and sub-systems. The start-up plans to set up an EOS M400-4 printer at its facility and would take technical support of EOS in advancing 3D printing of rocket engines, allowing it to own the entire rocket engine making process in-house. EOS would facilitate and support Agnikul by providing training, process know-how, and best practices for taking hardware that has worked successfully.

“Humbled to sign this MoU with the Department of Space which will formally enable us to go forward with our testing plans at ISRO. With this level of government support, low earth orbit does look close," Agnikul said in a statement after signing the MoU.

The Chennai-based space tech start-up had raised $11 million in Series A funding from institutional and angel investors earlier this year.

Last week, ISRO had entered a similar framework MoU with Skyroot Aerospace that will enable the Hyderabad-based start-up to undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centres and also to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying its space launch vehicle systems and sub-systems.

Also Read: India's space-tech startups steering a rough ride

ISRO Chairman K Sivan had inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at Bellatrix Aerospace located at the Indian Institute of Science campus in Bengaluru on Wednesday. This privately funded propulsion lab has in-house facilities for development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies, according ISRO.

Sivan appreciated the young team for establishing the state-of-the art facility which houses equipment such as integrated thermal high vacuum test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, and specialised high temperature coating facilities.

Under the reforms inviting space tech start-ups to drive growth in the sector, the Department of Space has received 40 applications for utilising ISRO’s facilities.

The government also formed the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) under the Department of Space as a separate vertical for taking independent decisions with respect to permitting and regulating space activities of the private sector.

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