Font Size: May 25, 2016

Our next plan is to make launch vehicle land in runway: K Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Our Bureau

Chennai, May 25: The next test of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) will be to land the aerospace vehicle in a runway when it returns from space, said K Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

On Monday, ISRO successfully tested the indigenously built winged-body aerospace vehicle, which when fully developed can be used multiple times to send satellites in to orbit. At present, a rocket goes waste ever time a satellite is launched, he told newspersons.

On return from space, the RLV-TD landed at the precise location in the sea but got disintegrated. However, the next test is to fully get back the RLV-TD and make it land in a 5-km runway to be built at SHAR, Sriharikota, he said.

A large amount of data has been collected from RLV-TD, a project initiated in 2003. It will be analysed, and if fully satisfied, ISRO will go ahead with the next stage of testing, he said without giving a time frame.

There will be different levels of tests and demonstrations in the next 10-15 years before a full fledged RLV is developed. For instance, the energy to be dissipated on re-entry is large resulting in extreme heat due to aero-dynamic drag experienced by RLV (1800 k surface temperature). The re-entry module must land on a pre-designated landing site without disintegrating due to extreme decelerating loads, he said.

(This article was published on May 25, 2016)


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