ISRO Achieves Third Successful Landing of Reusable Launch Vehicle Pushpak

ISRO: Pushpak Achieves Third Successful Autonomous Landing in RLV Test


ISRO has achieved a significant milestone with the third successful landing of its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), “Pushpak,” on June 23, 2024. This accomplishment marks the culmination of the RLV Landing Experiment (LEX) series, showcasing advanced autonomous landing capabilities under challenging conditions.

The third test, RLV LEX-03, was conducted at 07:10 am at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka. Pushpak was taken to a height of 4.5 km by an Indian Air Force Chinook helicopter and released for a precise horizontal landing. This test follows the success of RLV LEX-01 and RLV LEX-02, held on April 2, 2023, and March 22, 2024, respectively.


In this final experiment, Pushpak faced a cross range of 500 meters and strong winds, a notable increase from the 150-meter range in the previous test. Despite these conditions, Pushpak executed a flawless landing, demonstrating its autonomous capabilities. Upon release, Pushpak’s landing velocity reached over 320 kmph, higher than the velocities of commercial and fighter aircraft. The brake parachute and landing gear brake successfully reduced its speed to 100 kmph, and the rudder and nose wheel steering system ensured stability on the runway.

ISRO’s RLV, akin to NASA’s Space Shuttle, is a winged spacecraft designed to carry over 10,000 kg to low Earth orbit by 2030. This reusable technology aims to significantly reduce satellite launch costs. NASA’s Space Shuttle, the world’s first reusable spacecraft, operated from 1981 to 2011 and set the precedent for this technology. NASA’s fleet included six shuttles: Challenger, Columbia, Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavor, and Enterprise. While Challenger and Columbia tragically crashed, the others are now museum exhibits.


Reusable rockets, pioneered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in 2015, recover costly rocket boosters for reuse. ISRO’s journey began with the Hypersonic Flight Experiment (HEX) in 2016, demonstrating RLV-TD’s re-entry. With LEX now complete, ISRO plans further tests, including the Return to Flight Experiment (REX) and Scramjet Propulsion Experiment (SPEX). Experts anticipate ISRO’s fully operational RLV by the 2030s, revolutionizing space missions with reusable two-stage orbital launch vehicles.

In essence, ISRO’s persistent efforts and innovations in reusable rocket technology signify a leap forward in making space exploration more efficient and cost-effective.

Image source: Internet

Disclaimer: Educational purpose blog with no commercial use intended.

Read More: Bharat X India

For Lifestyle Content: Tathastu Lifestyle

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