Aerospace Partnership Could Mean Commercial Satellite Rocket Test Launches by 2022

Alaska Aerospace Corporation and India-based AgniKul Cosmos have partnered to launch test rockets from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska (PSCA).

Agnikul Cosmos is developing a small rocket, called Agnibaan, that has the ability to carry 100kg satellites into low earth orbit. Currently, small satellites are carried as ‘piggyback luggage’ by bigger rockets, and thus there is significant wait time for them to be put into orbit. The Agnibaan rocket is three-engine and 18m tall, with a plug-and-play engine configuration that’s customizable for clients’ needs. The company’s idea is to move the small satellite launch market towards a customer-centric business model. It aims to be able to build a rocket in two weeks, and it be launchable from any launch site around the world; thanks to its size, it’s transportable on an 18-wheeler, and comes with a unique launch pedestal. If it’s accomplished, the end result would be easier commercial space access for everyone.

Agnikul Cosmos and Alaska Aerospace Corporation will work to secure regulatory approvals (e.g. launch licensing from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. export control, and the necessary clearances from Indian authorities). The aim is to explore launch vehicle-spaceport interfaces and procedures, and conduct test launches from PSCA. These launches are anticipated to occur from 2022 and onwards.

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