New Delhi, Feb 8: Just like SpaceX’s World’s most powerful rocket called Falcon Heavy, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) too has been working on reusable rocket stages “for quite some time” that would reduce the mission costs. Two of the Heavy’s boosters are recycled. They have previously flown on Falcon 9 launches.
ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan told Times of India that the space agency’s research and development department is working on three technology demonstrators.
“First one on the orbital re-entry of the vehicle, second on the landing of the reusable launch vehicle on the airstrip and third on reusable rocket stages. Isro’s research work on these three technologies is simultaneously going on and we hope to do a second technology demonstrator test (first experiment on reusable launch vehicle was in 2016) within two years,” he said.
He added that the foremost priority of the space agency is to increase the rocket “lifting capabilities of GSLV Mk III (Isro’s ‘fat boy’) from 4 tonnes to 6.5 tonnes”. “By increasing the lifting capability, we don’t have to depend on the European spaceport for launching our heavier satellites weighing over 6 tonnes,” Sivan said.
Congratulating SpaceX and CEO Elon Musk on their “significant accomplishment” of launching Falcon Heavy, which aims for touching red planet Mars, Sivan called it “a quantum leap in space technology.”
ABOUT SPACEX’S FALCON HEAVY
Falcon Heavy is dubbed as the ‘World’s Most Powerful Rocket’. It has three first-stage boosters which are strapped together with 27 engines.
It is 40 feet (12 meters) at the base and 230 feet (70 meters) tall.
Since Musk runs Tesla as well, he’s put his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster on the rocket. Three cameras have been installed on the Roadster which would send back “some epic views if they work and everything goes well,” Musk had said.
The car in the Falcon Heavy is set to make an elliptical orbit around the Sun before getting into vicinity if Mars. “At times, it will come extremely close to Mars, and there is a tiny, tiny chance that it will hit Mars. Extremely tiny,” Musk had said.