Home News Watch: India’s ‘Viman’ Pushpak, a 21st-century invention, successfully launched

Watch: India’s ‘Viman’ Pushpak, a 21st-century invention, successfully launched

Watch: India’s ‘Viman’ Pushpak, a 21st-century invention, successfully launched

“The Pushpak test results were described as ‘excellent and precise” by sources from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

New Delhi: Pushpak, an SUV-sized winged rocket known as the “swadeshi space shuttle,” made a successful landing on a Karnataka runway this morning, signaling a significant advancement in the nation’s efforts to join the reusable rocket market.

According to S Somanath, the head of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the rocket was dropped from an Air Force helicopter. The results were described as “excellent and precise”.


“ISRO consistently delivers! The space agency reported that Pushpak (RLV-TD), the winged vehicle, successfully made an autonomous runway landing after being released from an off-nominal position.

According to ISRO, the mission effectively replicated the approach and fast landing circumstances of a space-returning RLV.

“The winged vehicle, called Pushpak, was lifted by an Indian Airforce Chinook helicopter, and was released from 4.5 km altitude. After release at distance of 4km from the runway, Pushpak autonomously approached the runway along with cross range corrections. It landed precisely on the runway and came to a halt using its brake parachute, landing gear brakes and nose wheel steering system,” it said in a statement.

The test was Pushpak’s third flight, assessing its ability to land autonomously in challenging situations. Deploying Pushpak operationally will likely take several more years.

The most costly component, the upper stage, which contains all the pricey electronics, is made reusable by returning it safely to Earth. This is India’s futuristic Reusable Launch Vehicle. Eventually, it might even be able to retrieve satellites from orbit for repair or refuel them while they were in orbit. Pushpak is a step in the right direction for India’s goal of reducing space debris,” he had stated.

In 2016, RVL made its first flight and landed safely in the Bay of Bengal on a virtual runway. It went down in the sea according to plan and was never found again. When a winged rocket was dropped from the sky by a Chinook helicopter for an autonomous landing, a second test was carried out successfully in 2023.

“The rocket is named after the ‘Pushpak Viman’ mentioned in the Ramayana, believed to be the vehicle of the Lord of Wealth, Kuber, as per Mr. Somnath.”

A dedicated group of scientists and engineers started building the space shuttle ten years ago. The 1.75-ton craft resembles a 6.5-meter airplane. Small thrusters assist the vehicle in navigating to the precise location of its landing during descent. Over ₹100 crore has been invested in the project by the government.