Weather permitting, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for another milestone in the development of reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology. This month, they plan to attempt the third landing experiment (RLV-LEX-03) in Karnataka’s Challakere. The RLV-LEX-03 builds upon the previous experiment (RLV-LEX-02) and aims to improve the vehicle’s performance, guidance, and landing capabilities.

Challenging Cross-Range Error: RLV-LEX-03 will intentionally test a cross-range error of around 500 meters, compared to 150 meters in RLV-LEX-02.

Advanced Guidance Algorithm: An improved guidance algorithm will correct errors in both the longitudinal and lateral planes simultaneously.

Softer Landing: The main landing gear’s sink rate has been reduced to less than 1 meter per second for a softer landing.

Smoke Marker System: A smoke marker system traces the descent trajectory, providing visual data for analysis and future improvements.

Real-Time Kinematics (RTK) System: ISRO will evaluate the RTK system’s performance in a high-speed environment, enhancing navigation accuracy for future landings.

Meanwhile, the integrated air-drop test (IADT) of simulated Gaganyaan crew modules at Sriharikota has been delayed due to “issues” with the selected helicopter. The IADT aims to validate the parachute system for India’s first human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan.

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