Pushpak Reusable Landing Vehicle (RLV) LEX 02

Pushpak Reusable Landing Vehicle (RLV) LEX 02

News: Recently, ISRO has successfully tested the Pushpak Reusable Landing Vehicle (RLV) LEX 02 in Chitradurga, Karnataka.
 The Pushpak Reusable Landing Vehicle (RLV) LEX 02 experiment, conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), marks a significant milestone in the field of reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology.
 The primary goal of RLV-LEX-02 was to demonstrate autonomous landing capability for the RLV.
 It aimed to simulate the approach and high-speed landing conditions of an RLV returning from space.
Autonomous landing
 The winged vehicle, named Pushpak, was lifted by an Indian Air Force Chinook helicopter and released from an altitude of 4.5 kilometers.
 After release, Pushpak autonomously approached the runway, making cross-range corrections.
 It precisely landed on the runway using a combination of systems: Brake parachute, Landing gear brakesand Nose wheel steering system.
Technological validation
 RLV-LEX-02 revalidated several indigenously developed technologies:
o Navigation systems: Ensured precise guidance during descent.
o Control systems: Enabled stable flight and maneuvering.
o Landing gear: Withstood high landing loads.
o Deceleration systems: Facilitated a safe landing.
o The airframe structure and landing gear were strengthened based on learnings from the previous RLV-LEX-01 mission.
What are the potential applications of reusable launch vehicles?
Reduced Launch Costs: The primary advantage of RLVs is their reusability. Traditional expendable rockets are discarded after a single use, whereas RLVs can be reused multiple times. Reusable technology significantly reduces the cost of accessing space. This cost reduction benefits both government space agencies and private companies.
Satellite Deployment: RLVs can efficiently deploy satellites into orbit. By lowering launch costs, they enable more frequent and affordable satellite launches. This is crucial for communication, weather monitoring, Earth observation, and scientific research.
Space Tourism: RLVs pave the way for commercial space tourism. Reusable vehicles can transport paying passengers to suborbital or even orbital flights. Companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX are actively working on space tourism using RLVs.
Cargo Resupply: RLVs can transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and other space habitats. Regular resupply missions are essential for sustaining crewed missions. Reusability ensures costeffective cargo delivery.

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