ISRO Reusable Launch Vehicle to land in Karnataka

The Reusable Launch Vehicle Program was launched by ISRO in 2016. It aims to cut down the launch cost by reusing the spacecraft. So far, the RLV (Reusable Launch Vehicle) has been tested over water. For the first time, ISRO will test in land.

The RLV will function as a space shuttle that will carry a payload to space and glide back to the earth. While returning, it is to land like a normal aircraft. The landing of the RLV is to be tested at Challakere in Chitradurga district in Karnataka.

Highlights

  • The Aeronautical Test Range has 2.2 km runway
  • The RLV will be dropped from a helicopter
  • The test is critical to India’s Human Space Flight program – Gaganyaan.
  • The following four aspects of the RLV are to be tested
    • Hypersonic flight
    • Autonomous landing
    • Powered Cruise flight
    • Hypersonic Flight with air – breathing propulsion.
  • There are two stages in the recovery process. The first stage is similar to that of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster. The second stage is an advanced version of RLV testing done in 2016.

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