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ISRO Targets Landing Experiment Of RLV-TD This Month, Pushing It Closer To Orbital Re-entry Mission

Source : India Times

ISRO Targets Landing Experiment Of RLV-TD This Month, Pushing It Closer To Orbital Re-entry Mission

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has made remarkable progress on the Reusable Launch Vehicle-technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), is looking to carry out a key landing experiment (LEX) this month.

The proposed LEX will push RLV-TD closer to an Orbital Re-entry Experiment (ORE). The planned landing experiment will be carried out in Challakere in Chitradurga district, some 220 km from Bengaluru.

“If the wind conditions are favourable, we should be able to it this month. This work is progressing,” ISRO chairman, S Somnath, told The Times of India.  

As per TOI, citing Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) sources, the vehicle has returned from Challakere where it underwent some captive tests last month. “The data is being studied and we are preparing for LEX,” said a source from VSSC. 

In the LEX, as per ISRO, the vehicle will be carried using a helicopter to an altitude of about 3 km to 5 km and released at a distance of approximately 4 km to 5 km ahead of the runway with a horizontal velocity. After the release, the RLV glides, navigates towards the runway and carries out a conventional autonomous landing with the landing gear.

In addition to RLV-TD, the much-awaited first developmental flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is scheduled for May. ISRO will conduct two more this year.

“After one in May, we’re looking to schedule one in August and one in December. All three are developmental flights,” Somnath told TOI.

The solar mission — Aditya-L1 — is expected to make the September-October window, missing which would likely push the mission to the next year.

However, Chandrayaan-3 could get pushed to next year despite consistent testing of various systems.

“The list of tests is long and we do not want to compromise on anything. It is unlikely that we launch Chandrayaan-3 this year given that we have specific windows to do it,” Somnath said.

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