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Indian space capsule test successful

Recently the airdrop test of the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) module has been successfully conducted. SRE is intended for demonstrating the capability to recover an orbiting space capsule. The airdrop was conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota, about 80 kms north of Chennai in India. The test, crucial for the qualification of SRE for its flight, was the last of the three airdrop tests. The earlier two tests had been conducted from SDSC in June last.

The experiment envisages the development of a 500 kg recoverable capsule and the associated technologies. SRE would be launched on board ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the second half of 2005. After the launch, the SRE would remain in orbit for a few days during which it would be used to perform experiments in micro-gravity environment.

The capsule would then be de-orbited and it will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere. On re-entry, after initial aerodynamic braking, a parachute system would reduce the touch down velocity. The SRE would splash down in the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east of Sriharikota coast. A floatation system would keep the SRE afloat and enable its recovery. The SRE is intended to test reusable thermal protection system, navigation, guidance and control and recovery operations, the release added.