Monday, May 23, 2016

India successfully tests winged reusable launch vehicle

India successfully tests winged
reusable launch vehicle 
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh) :India on Monday, 23rd May 2016  successfully tested its home-grown winged reusable launch vehicle (RLV), demonstrating its space technology prowess and joining an elite club of space-faring nations like the US, Russia and France.

"We have successfully tested the first delta-winged-body aerospace vehicle operating in hypersonic flight regime," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement after accomplishing the mission as a technology demonstrator (RLV-TD).

"We have successfully accomplished the RLV-TD mission. The lift-off was at 7 a.m. from the first launch pad here," ISRO director Devi Prasad Karnik told  newsmen after the shuttle returned to the Earth.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Indian scientists.

Mukherjee, in a message, said: "Heartiest congratulations to ISRO Team on successful launch of India's first indigenous space shuttle RLV-T."

Modi said in a tweet: "The dynamism and dedication with which our scientists and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) have worked over the years is exceptional and very inspiring."

The sleek 1.7-tonne RLV was latched on top of a 15-tonne rocket with a booster for lift-off from the spaceport here in Andhra Pradesh, about 80km north of Chennai, off the Bay of Bengal coast.

"We started the countdown for lift-off at 11 p.m. on Sunday and the rocket blasted off at 7 a.m., as the wind and weather conditions were good for launching the vehicle," ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSS) director K. Sivan told IANS later.

After 91.1 seconds into the flight, the burn out occurred while the rocket along its vehicle coasted to an altitude of 56km and separated to ascend to 65km above the earth in sub-orbital space.

From 65km height, the vehicle began its descent followed by atmospheric re-entry at Mach 5 (five times speed of sound).

"Navigation, guidance and control system steered the vehicle for safe descent to the defined landing spot over the Bay of Bengal, about 450km from Sriharikota on the east coast," the statement said.

The entire flight duration from launch to landing in the sea was 13.3 minutes.

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