Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman Sreedhara Panicker Somanath on Sunday congratulated Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) project management team for successfully conducting the reusable launch vehicle (RLV) autonomous landing mission (RLV-LEX) at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Karnataka’s Chitradurga.
ISRO’s chairman said that for the first time in the world, with the help of a helicopter, a rocket-like RLV was left in the sky and returned to the ground successfully.
The RLV was lifted to a height of 4.5km above the ground at 7:10 am today with the help of a Chinook helicopter belonging to the Indian Air Force. Based on the command of the mission management computer in the RLV, the RLV successfully returned to Earth at 7:40 am and landed in the designated area.
On Sunday, ISRO informed that it successfully conducted the autonomous test landing mission of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Karnataka’s Chitradurga.
A statement issued by ISRO read, “India achieved it. ISRO joined by DRDO successfully conducted the Reusable Launch Vehicle Autonomous Landing Mission (RLV LEX) at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga, Karnataka in the early hours on April 2, 2023.”
“The autonomous landing was carried out under the exact conditions of a space re-entry vehicle’s landing high speed, unmanned, precise landing from the same return path as if the vehicle arrives from space. LEX utilized several indigenous systems. Localized Navigation systems, instrumentation, and sensor systems, etc. were developed by ISRO,” the statement read further.
Along with ISRO, Indian Air Force (IAF), Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), and Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) contributed to this test.
Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, VSSC, and Shyam Mohan N, Programme Director, ATSP guided the teams. Dr Jayakumar M, Project Director, RLV was the Mission Director, and Muthupandian J, Associate Project Director, RLV was the Vehicle Director for the mission. Ramakrishna, Director, ISTRAC was present on the occasion. Chairman, ISRO/Secretary, DOS Somanath witnessed the test.
With LEX, the dream of an Indian Reusable Launch Vehicle arrives one step closer to reality, said the ISRO officials.