Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said that after the May 23 flight of reusable launch vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), it is studying the data collected from the first experiment. The next set of space technologies related to RLV-TD will be tested after studying the data, a senior official at ISRO has said. "We will have to study the data generated from the May 23 flight. Then we have to decide on the next set of technologies to be tested on the next flight. We have not finalised the time frame for the next RLV flight," K Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said.
Indian rockets, that release earth observation and communication satellites into orbit, are built at the VSSC located in Thiruvananthapuram. A runway-like stretch will be built at India's rocket port at Sriharikota around 80 km from Chennai, where the next RLV will be made to land, said Sivan. "We have identified the land and construction activities are yet to begin," he added.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) on May 23 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. (Also Read May take 10 years for India to have Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), says top ISRO Scientist)
The HS9 solid rocket booster lifted off the RLV-TD from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, at 7am on Monday. A successful flight of 91.1 seconds, then occurred the HS9 burn out. Then both HS9 and RLV-TD mounted on its top coasted to a height of 56km. The HS9 booster then released the RLV-TD, which then further reached the height of about 65km.
After atmospheric re-entry at around Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound), the RLV-TD began its descent. It then came down smoothly to the landing spot over Bay of Bengal, which is 450km away from Sriharikota. The total flight duration from launch to landing was about 770 seconds.
"As per data the RLV-TD landed softly in Bay of Bengal. As per our calculations it would have disintegrated at the speed at which it touched the sea," Sivan said. ISRO has plans to release around 60 satellites into the orbit over the next five years. Among them, many will be earth observation satellites. (Also Read: Things you need to know about the desi spacecraft Reusable Launch Vehicle)
Siwan said that the first developmental flight of India's heaviest rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-MkIII) will take place in December 2016. It will carry the GSAT-19 satellite. While the second developmental flight of GSLV-MkIII will be launched on December 2017, he added.
"The time gap is mainly to study the data generated from the first flight and also to develop the necessary hardware. Once the two developmental flights are successful then the rocket will be termed fit for commercial flights," Sivan said. An India designed cryogenic engine will power the GSLV-MkIII. The GSLV-MkIII will be sent up after the successful test results of the cryogenic engine.
"Soon the cryogenic stage - engine, fuel and other systems - will be tested. Then the stage will be tested in vacuum conditions and there will also be a high altitude test," Sivan said.