The airdrop test of the instrumented Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) module was successfully conducted using a Helicopter today (August 19, 2004) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, about 80 km north of Chennai. Today's test was the third and the last of the three airdrop tests. The earlier two tests had been conducted from SDSC in June last. These three tests were crucial for the qualification of SRE for its flight.
Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) is intended for demonstrating the capability to recover an orbiting space capsule. The experiment envisages the development of a 500 kg recoverable capsule and the associated technologies. SRE will be launched on board ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the second half of 2005.
After its launch by PSLV, SRE will remain in orbit for a few days during which it will be used to perform experiments in micro-gravity environment. The capsule will then be de-orbited and it re-enters the earth's atmosphere. On re-entry, after initial aerodynamic braking, a parachute system will reduce the touch down velocity. The SRE will splashdown in the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east of Sriharikota coast. A floatation system will keep the SRE afloat and enables its recovery. The SRE is intended to test reusable thermal protection system, navigation, guidance and control, hypersonic aerothermodynamics, management of communication blackout, deceleration and floatation system, recovery operations, etc.
Images supporting this release are available at http://www.isro.org/pressrelease/Aug19_2004.htm