Monday, August 1, 2011

India building space shuttle

India is working towards realising its dream - to create a re-usable satellite launch vehicle. An engineering model of what scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) call the re-usable launch vehicle, is currently housed at a secure and secret facility in Kerala. Covered with special heat resistant tiles, soon it will roar skywards.

A reusable launch system (or reusable launch vehicle, RLV) is a launch system which is capable of launching a launch vehicle into space more than once. This contrasts with expendable launch systems, where each launch vehicle is launched once and then discarded.

The news about Indian Space Shuttle is not new. In the end of 1980s and beginning of 1990s India had plans to develop the small Space Shuttle named Hyperplane that would to be orbited by non-reusable launchers. Then plans differed to project Avatar RLV as a single-stage system.AVATAR (Aerobic Vehicle for Hypersonic Aerospace TrAnspoRtation) is a single-stage reusable spaceplane capable of horizontal takeoff and landing, being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization along with Indian Space Research Organization and other research institutions; it could be used for cheaper military and civilian satellite launches.
When operational, it is planned to be capable of delivering a payload weighing up to 1,000 kg to low earth orbit.

"We are dreaming about a fully re-usable vehicle, there are several elements we need to understand as of now we have a technology demonstrator," said Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO.

The unmanned Indian space shuttle will be initially launched vertically like a rocket and in the first few flights it will be dropped back into the sea, but later it will make a landing like any other aircraft.

ISRO belives that this technology can drastically reduce the cost of launching satellites to space.


No comments: