Nation Other News 29 Mar 2016 Reusable vehicle lau ...

Reusable vehicle launch in May

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | CYNTHIA CHANDRAN
Published Mar 29, 2016, 1:18 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2016, 1:18 am IST
Space scientists hope to launch the PSLV-C33/ CARTO-2C mission before May.
RLV-TD HEX Mission profile
 RLV-TD HEX Mission profile

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India is gradually moving closer to achieving the dream of  space scientist and former President, the late  A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, of developing  cost-effective space shuttles.  Mr K. Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thumba, said that the much-awaited Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) would be launched from Sriharikota by early May.

Some 150 direct engineers of VSSC and over  600 indirect engineers had  been working hard for the last eight years for the project.  “It is not a conventional tubular rocket but a sub-orbital mission, which will reduce the launch cost making space missions economically viable,” he said.

 

“We are  doing only a demonstration. RLV-TD is a series of technology demonstration missions which are in fact a ‘baby step’ in making a real Reusable Launch Vehicle towards the ‘giant leap.’
 

The total lift-off would weigh 17 tonnes while the  demonstration mass is only 1.7 tonnes,”  said Mr Sivan.  By next week, the 6.5-metre-long vehicle would be shifted to Bengaluru for acoustic tests and then to Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. It will go up to around 70 km after which it is expected to descend at a particular point in the sea. The project cost is Rs 95 crore, including facility build-up.

 

Space scientists hope to launch the PSLV-C33/ CARTO-2C mission before May. NASA has already launched a similar vehicle and they used an orbit in a Boeing X-34 air-launched small booster project. Recently, Japanese space agency as well as the Centre National D'études Spatiales (CNES), the French government space agency, had sent a similar RLV to the orbit.

Mr Sivan also said that the engine of the RLV was  being tested at Indian Space Research Organisation’s propulsion complex in Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district. “The major advantage is that we have the mission management of the rocket. Though the design of the vehicle is complex, we are gaining high speed experience (expertise),”  added Mr Sivan.

 

The RLV-TD is a scaled prototype of the AVATAR (Aerobic Vehicle for Trans-atmospheric Hypersonic Aerospace Transportable Reusable Launch Vehicle) space shuttle in India and it can return to earth after performing its mission. If the project is  successful, it can pave the way for the   launch of RLV.

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Location: India, Kerala




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