ISRO: RLV Tech to Reduce Satellites Launching Cost

Bhubaneswar/Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking forward for using Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Technology for lowering the cost of launching satellites into the space.

This RLV plan will be tested by ISRO in the month of June or July

“We are working on a reusable launch technology in order to recover the first and second stages of a rocket so that we can reuse them to cut cost and carry heavier payloads.”

“The first rocket stage will be recovered on a vertical landing spot on the sea like SpaceX has been doing it with its Falcon rocket. However, recovering the second stage is not simple.”

“We are, therefore, developing a winged body like a space shuttle. This shuttle will be attached as a second stage in a rocket. It will carry the top portion of the rocket comprising a satellite or spacecraft to space. Once it injects the satellite in its orbit, the shuttle will glide back to the earth and land on an airstrip like an aircraft,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan explained.

He informs that till this date no one has achieved second stage recovery anywhere in the world, including major private player SpaceX. The use of RLV for the first time was shown by ISRO in 2016. During this demonstration the vehicle went upto a height of 70 km and then manoeuvred back upon the earth into the Indian Ocean.

The ISRO Chairman confirmed that different method will be used this time.

A helicopter would be used to transport the shuttle to a significant height from where the winged body will be released and will glide toward the earth and make its landing on an airstrip. Another RLV test from the orbit is also in the pipeline.

Mastering RLV technology would allow ISRO to drastically improve its share of the global satellite launch market, which is currently dominated by SpaceX with over 50 per cent market share, while the Indian space agency’s share being a mere 0.6 per cent.



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Upasana Bidika
Upasana Bidika has completed her Master Degree in Law from KIIT School of Law. However she has carved a niche for herself as a journalist. She can be contacted at