Monday, January 22, 2007
India Successful With Re-Entry Capsule Recovery Experiment
India's space scientists are celebrating another leap forward in the nation's space technology today as the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) successfully splashed down in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Sriharikota. The nation's navy and coast guard are searching for the space capsule.
The cone shaped space capsule that was launched on top of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was India's first attempt to orbit a capsule and safely return it to earth. Three parachutes were used to slow its speed five km above sea level. The capsule splashed down at 36 km per hour. The parachute, pyro devices, avionics packages of triggering unit and sequencer, telemetry, tracking system and sensors for measurement of system performance apparently have worked.
Only five other countries, Russia, America, France, Japan, and China have mastered the complex techniques associated with orbital reentry. It is seen as India's first steps towards undertaking a manned mission perhaps as early as 2014. India has not announced specific plans for a manned space mission, but an unmanned moon mission is scheduled for 2008.