isro’s reusable launch vehicle (rlv )

Reusable Launch vehicle will be one of the most technologically challenging endeavors towards develpoing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle to enable low cost access to space. It is a combination of rocket as well as a spacecraft. As says goes by ISRO developing this RLV technology to new heights providing hypersonic flight, autonomous landing and powered cruise flight.

RLV consists of fuse lage, a nose cape, double delta wings and twin vertical tails.It also features symmetrically placed active control surfaces called elevons and Rudder. Solid booster HS9 is being used which specially designed for low burn rate and reduce fuel consumption. It was successfully tested on march23, 2016 validating critical technologies and autonomous navigation, guidance and control, thermal protection system and re-entry mission management.

The Landing Experiment (LEX) which tests the autonomous landing capability of the RLV TD on a runway will be the next tests to be carried out, which ISRO is planning sometime in 2020.  As part of the test, the RLV TD will be lifted by a helicopter and dropped from 3.5kms altitude to test the controlled descent using navigation guidance and control and to land on a run way and bring it to a halt. After this test, the next step will the orbital reentry of the vehicle – the Return Flight Experiment (REX).

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