ISRO to conduct first runway landing experiment of reusable launch vehicle

The Indian Space Research Organisation appears set for the first runway landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle from aeronautical test range in Karnataka's Chitradurga district

Livemint
First Published8 Nov 2022
Representational image: Indian Space Research Organisation is set foe first runway landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle
Representational image: Indian Space Research Organisation is set foe first runway landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle

The first runway landing experiment (RLV-LEX) of the Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) appears to be scheduled by the Indian Space Research Organisation, with its chairman S. Somanath indicating that the weather is being monitored.

"We are looking at the climate. Climate is still not good. So, we are waiting for the wind and other systems to become benign. We will do that," Somanath, also Secretary in the Department of Space, told PTI.

The RLV wing body will be transported by helicopter to an altitude of three to five kilometres before being released at a distance of about four to five kilometres in front of the runway with a horizontal velocity, according to ISRO officials.

The RLV will glide after being released, navigate to the runway, and land independently with landing gear at the defence airfield close to Chitradurga.

According to earlier reports, new systems like landing gear, parachute, hook beam assembly, radar altimeter, and pseudolite have been developed and certified. The national space agency is based here.

On 23 May, 2016, ISRO successfully completed its first RLV-TD HEX-01 (Hypersonic Flight Experiment-01) mission from SDSC SHAR, demonstrating the essential technologies for the design and flight testing of re-entry vehicles.

However, it was a suborbital flight and designed to land on sea. One of the critical technologies to be demonstrated in the RLV-LEX mission is approach and autonomous landing on a runway, according to ISRO.

According to ISRO officials, this milestone (RLV-LEX) needs to be accomplished before the RLV ORE (Orbital Re-Entry Experiment) mission in order to acquire end-to-end reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology capability. In ORE, a wing body known as the Orbital Re-entry Vehicle (ORV) will be launched into orbit by an ascent vehicle made of the current GSLV and PSLV stages, remain in orbit for a predetermined amount of time, re-enter the atmosphere, and land on a runway without human assistance.

earlier, Anil Bhardwaj, the director of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad, said during a presentation on ISRO's upcoming missions at the Akash Tattva conference that the space agency also intended to send a probe to Mars.

(With inputs from PTI)

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