Isro successfully conducts 2nd landing test of Pushpak in Karnataka | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Isro successfully conducts 2nd landing test of Pushpak in Karnataka

By, New Delhi
Mar 23, 2024 07:52 AM IST

ISRO successfully conducted the second landing test of its RLV, Pushpak, from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Challakere near Chitradurga in Karnataka.

The Indian Space Research Organization successfully conducted the second landing test of its reusable launch vehicle (RLV), Pushpak, from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Challakere near Chitradurga in Karnataka on Friday.

Pushpak, a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD), makes a landing autonomously with precision on the runway after being released from an off-nominal position at Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga. (PTI)
Pushpak, a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD), makes a landing autonomously with precision on the runway after being released from an off-nominal position at Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga. (PTI)

“ISRO nails it again. Pushpak (RLV-TD), the winged vehicle, landed autonomously with precision on the runway after being released from an off-nominal position,” the agency said in a statement.

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At 7.10am on Friday, the winged vehicle was lifted by the Chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force and was released from an altitude of 4.5 km, the statement said.

After release at a distance of 4km from the runway, Pushpak autonomously approached the runway along with cross range corrections. It landed precisely on the runway and came to a halt using its brake parachute, landing gear brakes and nose wheel steering system, it said.

“RLV-LEX-02 demonstrated the autonomous landing capability of RLV from off-nominal initial conditions at release from helicopter. RLV was made to undertake more difficult manoeuvres with dispersions, correct both cross-range and down range and land on the runway in a fully autonomous mode,” the statement read.

RLV-TD (technology demonstrator) is one of the most challenging endeavours of the Indian space agency towards developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle to enable low-cost access to space. The configuration of RLV-TD is similar to that of an aircraft and combines the complexity of both launch vehicles and aircraft.

The winged RLV-TD has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, including hypersonic flight, autonomous landing and powered cruise flight. In the coming years, this vehicle will be scaled up to become the first stage of India’s reusable two stage orbital launch vehicle.

Isro conducted the first landing experiment, RLV-LEX-01, with a scaled down version of the RLV technology demonstrator (RLV-TD) last year on a Chinook Helicopter of the Indian Air Force.

During the demonstration, once the predetermined pillbox parameters were attained, based on the RLV’s mission management computer command, it was released in mid-air, at a down range of 4.6 km.

The IAF, which conducted the experiment for Isro, also issued a statement.

“Airlifted to an altitude of 4.5 kms, IAF Air Warriors were part of the successful mission. IAF heartily congratulates ISRO on achieving this milestone. IAF will contribute and collaborate in future as well, for many such undertakings,” the IAF statement read.

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