New Delhi / Bengaluru: Taking forwards its remarkable progress on the Reusable Launch Vehicle-technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will be carrying out a key landing experiment (LEX) in April.
According to a media report, 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.
As per the media report, citing Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) sources, the vehicle has returned from Challakere where it underwent some captive tests last month and the data is being studied and we are preparing for 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 in the LEX. 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.
According to ISRO plans, 2022 will see three development flights – in May, August and December. 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.