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ISRO’s Pushpak Lands Successfully, Marking Another Triumph

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will on Friday successfully carried out the landing mission of its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) named ‘Pushpak’ from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Karnataka’s Challakere.

The rocket was launched at around 7 am from the Chalakere Runway.

This was the third landing mission of the RLV named after the legendary spaceship named in the Ramayan. The space agency had successfully carried out previous missions in 2016 and April last year.

The launch vehicle was carried to an altitude of about 4.5 km by an Indian Air Force helicopter and released after attaining the predetermined pillbox parameters.

According to ISRO, the mission is part of the space agency’s efforts at “developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle to enable low-cost access to space”.

“The Pushpak launch vehicle is India’s bold attempt to make access to space most affordable,” ISRO chairperson S Somanath said, according to NDTV. “It is India’s futuristic Reusable Launch Vehicle, where the most expensive part, the upper stage, which houses all the expensive electronics, is made reusable by bringing it back safely back to Earth. Later, it could even do refuelling of in-orbit satellites or retrieving satellites from orbit for refurbishment. India seeks to minimise space debris and Pushpak is one step towards that as well.”

The Pushpak RLV is designed as an all-rocket, fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle, reported India Today. It also incorporates major elements such as the X-33 advanced technology demonstrator, the X-34 testbed technology demonstrator, and the upgraded DC-XA flight demonstrator.

According to ISRO, ‘Pushpak’ consists of a fuselage (body), a nose cap, double delta wings and twin vertical tails. It also features symmetrically placed active control surfaces called Elevons and Rudder.

In February, Somnath had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the RLV mission, which cost an estimated ₹100, during his visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Trivandrum.

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(Source: HT)

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