Pushpak: ISRO’s winged reusable launch vehicle | UPSC

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) completed the third Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Landing Experiment (LEX) on June 23 at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitradurga, Karnataka.

Through this mission, the advanced guidance algorithm catering to longitudinal and lateral plane error corrections, which is essential for the future Orbital Re-entry Mission has been validated.

Notably, the RLV-LEX-03 mission reused the winged body and flight systems as such without any modification, from the LEX-02 mission, demonstrating the robustness of ISRO’s capability of design to reuse flight systems for multiple missions.

The RLV that ISRO is building has only two stages to propel the vehicle into orbit. Once the fuel in the first stage has been expended, the vehicle will shed it, and carry on with the second stage.

Once it has been shed, the first stage will re-enter the atmosphere and land in an autonomous fashion at a pre-determined location. After some maintenance, it will be available for reuse.