Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct RLV landing experiment

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct RLV landing experiment

  • ISRO is aiming to carry out a landing experiment (LEX), a critical component of the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme, in the next few days.


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  • It involves taking an unmanned, winged prototype to an altitude of 2.3 km to 2.4 km on a helicopter and releasing it to land at a Defence Research Development Organisation airstrip
  • The prototype will be released 3.7 km away from the airstrip and it must travel the distance autonomously, gain velocity, maintain control and come in like any typical aircraft, touching down with the rear wheels first.
  • A parachute will then be deployed for braking,
  • Cheaper access to space is what makes an RLV attractive.
  • A major hurdle in space exploration is the prohibitive cost, which can be slashed if the launch vehicle is a reusable one.

About RLV-TD programme

  • It is a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step towards realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle.
  • A Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.
  • These technologies will be developed in phases through a series of experimental flights.
  • The first in the series of experimental flights is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX) followed by the landing experiment (LEX), return flight experiment (REX) and scramjet propulsion experiment (SPEX).
  • Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator Hypersonic Experiment (RLV-TD HEX1) wherein the hypersonic aero-thermo dynamic characterization of winged re-entry body along with autonomous mission management to land at a specified location and characterization of hot structures are planned to be demonstrated.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • RLV-TD
  • LEX
  • SPEX
  • ISRO