Chennai, Nov 11 (UiTV/IANS) – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said it has provided the flight termination system (FTS) to rocket startup, Agnikul Cosoms.
Simply put, FTS is the self-destruct mechanism fitted in a rocket. It is activated from the ground when the rocket veers off its flight path risking civilian areas or turns dangerous.
According to the ISRO, the FTS was handed over to Agnikul Cosmos on Monday after multiple rounds of interactions about interfacing, handling and using these systems on the company’s rocket Agnibaan.
This also marks the first time that a system that has been used for ISRO’s vehicles is being supplied for supporting a private launch vehicle built in India.
The package will be used for their fully controlled sub-orbital launcher, scheduled to launch from Sriharikota rocket port, ISRO said.
The company’s co-founder and CEO, Srinath Ravichandran, earlier told IANS that they are pushing hard to have the first test launch of their rocket Agnibaan before the end of 2022.
In 2006, ISRO destroyed a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) as it deviated from its flight path on its way up and the range safety officer at the rocket port pressed the destroyer button.
It was for the first time in its history ISRO destroyed its satellite-carrying rocket mid air.
“We had to destroy the rocket to avoid the risk of the vehicle/debris falling on the nearby populated areas,” said then ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair.
The rocket did a mid air somersault and veered away from its flight path. It was carrying the 2,168 kg Insat 4C communication satellite.
Incidentally it is learnt that another Indian rocket start up Skyroot Aerospace has not bought the FTS from ISRO.
Skyroot Aerospace had recently announced that it will fly its rocket Vikram-S with three payloads between November 12 and 16 from ISRO’s rocket port Sriharikota.