The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted a reusable launch vehicle autonomous landing mission at the aeronautical test range in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka on Sunday, said a statement by ISRO.
The mission was performed in collaboration with the Defence Space Research Organisation and the Indian Air Force.
The test was conducted by taking an underslung load on a helicopter to a height of 4.5 km and then landing it autonomously at an airstrip in the southern state of Karnataka.
With this landing experiment, “the dream of an Indian Reusable Launch Vehicle arrives one step closer to reality,” the statement said.
According to ISRO, a reusable launch vehicle is essentially a space plane with a low lift-to-drag ratio requiring an approach at high glide angles that necessitates a landing at high velocities of 350 km per hour. The mission also utilized several indigenous systems.
The autonomous landing was carried out under the exact conditions of a space re-entry vehicle’s landing, with high speed, unmanned, precise landing from the same return path, as if the vehicle arrives from space, said the ISRO statement.