May 31, 2024
May 31, 2024
min Read

When the space is your oyster

Team LetsVenture
"So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible." - Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Spacetech startup Agnikul Cosmos scripted history with the successful launch of the Agnibaan SoRTed-01 mission, marking the world’s first flight with a single-piece, 3D-printed rocket engine. 

The rocket features the first semi-cryogenic engine completely designed and manufactured indigenously. Assembled at Agnikul’s facilities at IIT Madras, the rocket took off from Agnikul’s own and India’s first and only private launchpad at Sriharikota.

“All the mission objectives of this controlled vertical ascent flight were met and performance was nominal,” the startup wrote, announcing the mission success on X. Among many firsts, it also marked India’s first flight with a semi-cryo engine, which uses a mix of liquid and gas for fuel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the team on spearheading a ‘remarkable feat which will make the entire nation proud.’

Others, including Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, actor Dulquer Salmaan, and sports shooter Joydeep Karmakar expressed their respect and congratulated the team.

Meanwhile, Agnikul Co-founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran shares that he’s honored to be working with people with great grit and determination, and the fact that his team flew a fully controlled flight on autopilot is still sinking in. “Everyone I spoke to in our Mission Control Room had a unique way to describe their experience of seeing the last umbilical disconnect,” he wrote on X. 

“Some achievements are truly out of this world and we at LetsVenture are only grateful for the opportunity to back visionary founders like Srinath and Moin SPM early in their journey at the seed stage in 2020,” said Shanti Mohan, Co-founder and CEO of LetsVenture. 

However, the startup braved great challenges to meet success. Agnikul made five attempts to launch the rocket and transported it multiple times from IIT Madras Research Park to their launchpad in Sriharikota. 

“I don't think any first-time launch vehicle in the world has gone through so much," Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, Founding Advisor at Agnikul Cosmos, told the media. Satyanarayanan is also the founder of several other deeptech startups in LetsVenture portfolio, including The ePlane Company, which pitched at LetsIgnite 2024. 

Team LetsVenture

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