Why in News:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming to carry out a landing experiment (LEX), a critical component of the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme
About the experiment
- RLV-LEX involves taking an unmanned, winged prototype to an altitude of about 2.3 km to 2.4 km on a helicopter and releasing it to land.
- The prototype will be released 3.7 km away from the airstrip and it must travel the distance autonomously, gain velocity, maintain control and come in like any typical aircraft, touching down with the rear wheels first. A parachute will then be deployed for braking.
Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme
- The cost of access to space is the major deterrent in space exploration and space utilization. A reusable launch vehicle is the unanimous solution to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access.
- Currently, ISRO employs expendable rockets such as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for space missions.
- Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration Program or RLV-TD is a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step towards realizing a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable vehicle.
- A Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.
- These technologies will be developed in phases through a series of experimental flights. The first in the series of experimental flights is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX) followed by the landing experiment (LEX), return flight experiment (REX) and scramjet propulsion experiment (SPEX).
- Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator Hypersonic Experiment (RLV-TD HEX1) wherein the hypersonic aero-thermo dynamic characterization of winged re-entry body along with autonomous mission management to land at a specified location and characterization of hot structures are planned to be demonstrated.