On 23rd May 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD). The euphoria is mostly because ISRO has launched, for the first time, a winged body into space.
The space agency has earned global fame as a thrifty player with its economical missions to the moon and the Mars, and is looking determined than ever to strive for further reduction in cost of launching satellites. And that’s exactly what RLV is – a trial to reducing cost of launching satellites by recovering some of the space resources.
Over the years, ISRO has made us Indians proud with missions like Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan), Chandrayaan, GLSL MK3 and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), among others. One thing to make notes about is its great impact on helping the Indian logistics industry.
The IRNSS mission, now renamed to Navigation with Indian Constellation (NAVIC), was a mission for India to set up its own satellite navigation technology. With seven satellites launched into space and two kept in standby, NAVIC will provide vital information about India and surrounding terrains, reducing India’s dependency on USA’s Global Positioning System (GPS). NAVIC’s accuracy is what stands out. It will have accuracy of 10 meters, as opposed to 20 meters of that of GPS’s.
Various planned missions are underway as well.
- AVATAR from “Aerobic Vehicle from Trans atmospheric Hypersonic Aerospace Transportation” is being developed for a manned single-stage reusable spaceplane that can be used for low cost military and commercial satellite launches, as well as space tourism.
- SAARC satellite is a proposed communication-cum-meteorology satellite for the SAARC region.
- RISAT-1A is Radar imaging satellite, with its primary application being terrain mapping, analysis of land and water surface.
All these initiatives from ISRO are serving three of the main needs for logistics industry – increasing reachability, monitoring with precision, and doing it all with minimal costs.
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