Thiruvananthapuram

RLV’s first test flight date set for Aug.

The Indian Space Research Organisation is gearing up for the first test flight of the fully Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), under plans to drive down the cost of placing satellites in orbit.

The test flight of the indigenously developed RLV- TD (Technology Demonstrator) will take place in late July or early August after the launch of the PSLV- C28 from Sriharikota, outgoing Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) M.C. Dathan told the media here on Friday. RLV has been conceived by ISRO as a space plane that will cut the launch cost from the present level of $5,000 per kg to $ 500 per kg.

The first trial involves the hypersonic flight experiment during which the RLV resembling a small winged aircraft will be launched up to an altitude of 70 km from atop a solid booster rocket and released. The thermally insulated RLV will re-enter the atmosphere and travel back to earth in a controlled descent, to be recovered from the sea, explained S. Somanath, Director-designate, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).

4-km runway

Mr. Dathan said the development of RLV was in the final stages. He said a 4 km runway would be constructed at SHAR for the RLV to make a horizontal landing in the subsequent test flights.

Mr. Somanath added that the RLV would be eventually powered by an air breathing scramjet under development. The first prototype of the scramjet with a 10 kg thrust was due to be tested in one month, followed by the development of a test facility at Mahendragiri for a more powerful engine.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 2:46:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/rlvs-first-test-flight-date-set-for-aug/article7262488.ece

Next Story