Pushpak RLV aircraft successfully tested.

Indian Space Research Organization successfully conducted the Landing Experiment of the Pushpak RLV aircraft at Chitradurga Challakere.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully test-fired the Landing Experiment (LEX) 02 of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) named “Pushpak” from Chitradurga Challakere, Andhra Pradesh on 22 March 2024.

About Pushpak RLV Aircraft

  • The name of this rocket is derived from the ‘Pushpak Vimana’ mentioned in Ramayana, which was the vehicle of Kubera, the god of wealth.
  • Pushpak is a reusable launching aircraft. It is a plane that looks like an airplane with wings.
  • Its length is 6.5 meters and weight is 1.75 tonnes. This aircraft is equipped with robotic landing capability.
  • The onboard navigation system is capable of landing at a high speed of 350 kilometers per hour to overcome obstacles around the runway.
  • Pushpak aircraft uses state-of-the-art technology including navigation hardware and software, Ka-band radar altimeter, navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) receiver, sensors, indigenous landing gear and aerofoil honeycomb wings etc.

Launch Details:

  • The delta wing RLV (Pushpak) was launched by Indian Air Force helicopter Chinook at 7.10 am from a distance of 4 km from the runway and an altitude of 4.5 km.
  • The launch vehicle automatically approached the runway, made cross-range corrections, and landed precisely using its brake parachute, landing gear brakes, and nose wheel steering system.

Objective:

  • To develop technologies required for reusable launch vehicles.
  • The aim is to enable low-cost access to space.

Importance:

  • This is India’s bold attempt to make space access more affordable.
  • Being reusable, it will reduce debris in space. Later it will also help in refueling a satellite in space or bringing it back for repair.

Cost : The cost of the Pushpak project is estimated to be more than Rs 100 crore.

Note : ISRO had successfully conducted previous RLV missions in the year 2016 and April 2023. Following the first RLV-LEX-01 mission, slated for 2023, RLV-LEX-02 demonstrated autonomous landing capability to RLV off-nominal initial conditions upon release from a Chinook helicopter.

FAQs

What is the name of Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) “Pushpak” inspired from?

Ramayana.

What is the length of Pushpak RLV aircraft?

6.5 meters

Where recently did the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully conduct the Landing Experiment (LEX) test of the Pushpak (RLV) aircraft?

Chitradurga in Challakere.

What is the weight of Pushpak RLV aircraft?

1.75 Ton.

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