Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Space Capsule Recovery Equipment (SRE-1) has been returned to earth after orbiting for 11 days in space. The SRE-1 was launched to test recovery and re-entry techniques returned back to Earth safely. It was scheduled to come back safely on Earth around 9.30 am on Monday.
According to the space agency, the capsule has been splashed down in the Bay of Bengal and the space agency is trying to locate it and to bring it onto land.
Earlier, the ISRO had launched the SRE-1 by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7). It had been launched along with Cartosat-2 on January 10 from Sriharikota. The Polar had reached in the orbit after 16 minutes of its launch and took another four minutes to position the satellites.
The SRE-1, 550 kg of weight, was designed to test the re-entry vehicle technology. It was necessary to plan any manned space mission for what India is thinking now. The coastguard off the Ennore Coast near Chennai is looking to the capsule to send it back to the Indian space agency.
According to the report, the SRE was used to perform experiments in micro-gravity environment. The capsule was made of mild-steel and it was further comprised with aero-thermo structure, spacecraft platform, deceleration, and floatation system and micro-gravity payloads.
An ISRO official said that SRE is projected to test reusable thermal protection system, navigation, guidance and control, hypersonic aero-dynamics, management of communication blackout, deceleration and flotation system and recovery experiments.
As it was approaching to Earth, three parachutes have slowed down its speed when it was five km above the sea level. For this purpose, the pyro devices, avionics packages of triggering unit and sequencer, telemetry and tracking system and sensors for measurement of system performance parameters were placed inside the SRE capsule for the function.
Now, with the successful return of the SRE-1 capsule, India’s plans to send an unmanned mission to the moon in 2008 has got a boost. The manned mission is also in pipeline, however, it is not yet announced. The report says that the ISRO is aiming to put an astronaut into space by 2014.
Before India, only three countries such as Russia, United States and China have got the complex re-entry technology. It was India’s first attempt in this technology and the capsule safely brought back to earth.