ISRO prepares first runway landing of India-made reusable rocket RLV (Space Shuttle): Chairman – Flying Journals

ISRO prepares for first runway landing of India-made space shuttle: Chairman

ISRO will conduct the first runway landing experiment for its reusable launch vehicle or RLV.


ISRO will conduct the first runway landing experiment (RLV-LEX) of its India-made Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) at the Aeronautical Proving Ground in Chitra Durga District, Karnataka, Chairman S Somanath said the weather was being monitored.

“We are looking at the climate. The climate is still not good. So, we are waiting for the wind and other systems to become benign. We will do that,” Mr Somanath, who is also space minister, told Press Trust India.


According to ISRO officials, the RLV wing fuselage will be transported by helicopter to an altitude of 3 to 5 kilometers and released at a horizontal speed at a distance of about 4 to 5 kilometers ahead of the runway. After launch, the RLV will glide at the defence airfield near Chitradurga, navigate to the runway and land autonomously using the undercarriage.

Sources at the Bengaluru-based National Space Agency earlier told the Press Trust of India that new systems such as landing gear, parachutes, hook beam assemblies, radar altimeters and pseudolites have been developed and certified.


ISRO completed its first RLV-TD HEX-01 (Hypersonic Flight Experiment-01) mission from SDSC SHAR on May 23, 2016, and successfully demonstrated key technologies for reentry vehicle design and flight testing. However, this was a suborbital flight, designed to land at sea.

According to ISRO, one of the key technologies to be demonstrated in the RLV-LEX mission is approach and autonomous landing on the runway.

ISRO officials said that in order to gain end-to-end reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology capability, this milestone (RLV-LEX) must be achieved before the RLV ORE (Orbital Reentry Experiment) mission.

In ORE, wing bodies called orbital re-entry vehicles (ORVs) will be brought into orbit by existing GSLV and PSLV class-derived ascent vehicles, remain in orbit for a specified time, and then re-enter and land on the runway with Landing gear autonomously.

(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)

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