ISRO’s Reusable Launch Vehicle landing test successful

Context: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted landing experiment of Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstration (RLV – TD) programme.

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For the first time in the world, a winged body has been carried to an altitude of 4.5 km by a helicopter (Chinook) and released for carrying out an autonomous landing on a runway. The release of the RLV was autonomous, as it performed approach and landing manoeuvres using Integrated Navigation, Guidance and Control System and completed the landing on the airstrip.

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ISRO’s RLV-TD is a technology demonstrator for a fully reusable launch vehicle, featuring hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, and powered cruise flight technologies. It has a winged aircraft-like configuration with a fuselage, double delta wings, twin vertical tails, and active control surfaces. It was boosted to Mach no: 5 by a solid booster and will be scaled up to become India’s first stage of a reusable two-stage orbital launch vehicle. 

Objectives of RLV – TD

  1. Hypersonic aero thermodynamic characterisation of wing body
  2. Evaluation of autonomous Navigation, Guidance and Control (NGC) schemes 
  3. Integrated flight management 
  4. Thermal Protection System Evaluation

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

  • It is the space agency of India which is involved in science, engineering and technology to harvest the benefits of outer space for India and the mankind. 
  • ISRO was previously the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), set up by the Government of India in 1962, as envisioned by Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
  • ISRO was formed on August 15, 1969 and superseded INCOSPAR with an expanded role to harness space technology. 
  • Department of Space (DOS) was set up and ISRO was brought under DOS in 1972. 
  • ISRO has its headquarters in Bengaluru
  • The activities of ISRO are guided by its Chairman, who would also be the secretary of DOS and Chairman of Space commission – the apex body that formulates the policies and overseas the implementation of the Indian Space Programme.
Centres & Units of ISROActivities
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ThiruvananthapuramBuilding of Launch Vehicles
U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), BengaluruDevelopment and designing of Satellites
Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SriharikotaIntegration and launching of satellites and launch vehicles
Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala & BengaluruDevelopment of liquid stages including cryogenic stage
Space Applications Centre (SAC), AhmedabadSensors for Communication and Remote Sensing satellites and application aspects of the space technology
National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad. Remote Sensing satellite data reception processing and dissemination

Chinook Helicopter

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  • The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. 
  • The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters.
  • It has a top speed of 310 km per hour and is one of the fastest helicopters in the world.
  • It is also very effective in rescue and relief missions during national disasters, due to capability to carry heavy loads.
  • The Indian Air Force operates a fleet of 15 Boeing made Chinook helicopters, which were acquired from the US in 2015 and were inducted into service in 2019.

UPSC Prelims 2016

Consider the following statements:

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission

2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA

3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans. (c)

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