Updated March 13th, 2024 at 13:23 IST

ISRO's Reusable Launch Vehicle Pushpak Gears Up For Second Landing Test

The upcoming landing test of Pushpak is expected to take place by the end of this month.

Reported by: Digital Desk
ISRO to Conduct Second Pushpak Landing Test | Image:Twitter
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New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is making strides towards conducting the second landing test of its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), Pushpak. ISRO is dedicated to developing crucial technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle, aiming to facilitate cost-effective access to space. This endeavour aligns with ISRO's ambitious plans to establish a space station by 2035. Reports have claimed that the upcoming landing test of Pushpak is expected to take place by the end of this month. However, a final date is yet to be released by the space agency.

During his recent visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed by ISRO chief S Somnath regarding the progress of the vehicle's development. The winged RLV prototype serves as a versatile test platform, facilitating the evaluation of hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, and powered cruise capabilities. Β 

Following approval from the National Review Committee in January 2012, ISRO's design for the RLV spacecraft received the green light. Subsequently, the initial prototype was constructed and named the RLV-TD (Technology Demonstrator).

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In 2016, leveraging advanced supercomputer simulations and the expertise of the National Aerospace Laboratory and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the RLV embarked on its inaugural flight. This journey was made possible through the development of heat-resistant materials crucial for safeguarding the spacecraft during atmospheric re-entry.

The autonomous landing mission executed on April 2, 2023, stood as a vital moment for the Pushpak RLV, advancing its journey toward achieving orbital re-entry capabilities. This successful experiment showcased the vehicle's prowess in executing unmanned, precise landings at high speeds, replicating conditions akin to space re-entry.

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The Pushpak RLV is meticulously crafted as an all-rocket, fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle, drawing inspiration from several key components such as the X-33 advanced technology demonstrator, the X-34 testbed technology demonstrator, and the upgraded DC-XA flight demonstrator.

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Published March 13th, 2024 at 13:08 IST