World’s First Rocket with Single-Piece 3D-Printed Engine

World’s First Rocket with Single-Piece 3D-Printed Engine


Agnikul Cosmos Private Ltd., based in Chennai, launched the Agnibaan Sub Orbital Technology Demonstrator (SOrTeD), featuring the world’s first rocket with a single-piece 3D-printed engine.

GS-02 (Science and technology)

Key highlights:

  • Launch from Sriharikota: The launch took place from Sriharikota.
  • India’s First Private Launchpad: Agnibaan SOrTeD marks India’s first launch from a private launchpad, named ‘Dhanush’, established by Agnikul.
  • First Semi-Cryogenic Engine-Powered Rocket in India: This launch is also significant as it is India’s first rocket powered by a semi-cryogenic engine.
  • Mission Objectives: The primary aim of this mission was to test and demonstrate in-house and home-grown technologies, gather crucial flight data, and ensure the optimal functioning of systems for Agnikul’s future orbital launch vehicle, the ‘Agnibaan’.


  • The Agnibaan SOrTeD rocket features a single-piece 3D-printed engine, a significant innovation likely to lower launch costs and reduce vehicle assembly time.
  • It is India’s first rocket powered by a semi-cryogenic engine, which uses sub-cooled oxygen as fuel.
  • The semi-cryogenic engine used in the rocket is called Agnilet.
  • Typically, rocket engine parts are manufactured separately and assembled later. In contrast, the Agnilet engine is produced as a single integrated piece using 3D printing, enhancing rapid assembly capabilities.
  • The launch vehicle is designed to launch from a mobile launchpad called Dhanush, allowing for launches from various locations.
  • The vehicle can carry payloads ranging from 30 kg to 300 kg.
  • This particular mission was a suborbital launch, designed to reach a height of about 8 kilometers before splashing into the sea.
  • Agnikul Cosmos plans to conduct its first orbital launch, capable of carrying satellites to orbit, by the end of the financial year and aims to provide regular launches in the next calendar year.
  • The rocket was developed by the IIT Madras-incubated startup with the support of IN-SPACe and ISRO, highlighting significant collaboration within India’s space sector.
  • The 3D-printed manufacturing process of the engine is expected to make space launch services more affordable, particularly for small satellites, signaling a major advancement in the space industry.