What the heck ISRO is doing ? Is it a space shuttle or something else ?

Finance Ninja

What the heck ISRO is doing ? Is it a space shuttle or something else ?

Hope you already heard about ISRO's Pushpak (RLV-TD) news. Everyone is comparing it to a space shuttle. But dude, this is not a space shuttle. So, what exactly is this ?



You can compare this with NASA and Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) -


Now, you have to understand, there is some sort of miscommunication or confusion that people are saying this is for reducing launch costs. That's not its job, that's not its target, that's not what ISRO is going to do.

Because it still needs a two-stage rocket, or at best case scenario, because again, this is a markup kind of scenario where it's not full scale. So, if they have to make it full scale and try to integrate a second stage in it, can it be done? Yes, absolutely, it can be done. It's just that the payload will be much smaller. So, you may ask, "What's the point if the payload is small ? Then how can you reduce cost ?" It's not designed for that. That's not its final mission. Yes, can you use this RLV to launch cube satellites? Yes, but it won't be cost-effective. Meaning, if you actually went to someone and said, "Hey, I want to use RLV for launching cube-sat," they will find the nearest homing missile system and they will fire it up your back. It's a really dumb idea.

Why then, why is ISRO spending so much money on it? Well, here's the deal: this sort of tool is what we call a tool booster. Meaning, once you have this, you can unlock new things. You can make better tools using that tool. For example, USA has this Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV).

Now, what is the unique aspect of this? This is something that you put on a big rocket like a two-stage rocket, and you launch it into space. Then what's the difference between this and any other satellite ? This is designed to return.

So, what can you do with it? You have a tiny payload and that payload way opens and closes, meaning you can put things that are on an actuator, for example: solar panels and you can just go to space, open the doors, deploy it in space, and test all the things.

For example, there is no substitute for real testing. Like, you think that your solar panel will work and provide this amount of energy. The moment you put it in space, good luck.

You could have a scenario where everything matches up, or you could have a scenario where everything does match up but it randomly dies after, like a few months. How would you know? There is an alternate. This is the only way to test it. This RLV can stay in orbit for upwards of 900 days. Basically, this RLV can stay there for a very, very long time, and it has a small thruster so it can change its orbit inclination very slowly, but it can change it also.

So, that's the amazing aspect of it. If India truly builds something like this and it has even a small payload, that's more than good enough for running every single tool through experiments. Meaning, if like, hey, we want to use this synthetic aperture data, make a small version of it, launch it on this, test it out. Does it actually work? Does it have the same noise floor that they were expecting? Is there any fault in it? You want to test ion engine? Put it here, launch it, test it with real-world data, and the things will be returned back to you. Meaning, let's say a Solar panel fails. Let's say you thought this panel should be amazing. Let's say you had tri-junction solar panels that are like 51% efficient. You're like, "Damn, this is awesome for military satellites," again, super expensive. Now, it cannot be used for commercial satellites.

How do you know how long your solar panels will last? Because of we have enough data for silicon systems, but if you want that for some reason, let's say you want that tri-junction system, how do you know that this is going to work for years on end? The best thing is to put it on this RLV, launch it up there, and just collect data over time. And not to mention, because you're going to return the samples, you can study it properly in Earth's scope rather than relying on statistical data. You can be like, "Hey, I think there is a lot of micro-cracks developing or a lot of this or that," like you can figure out all of those things. So, that's why this sort of tool is very important.

That's why the USA is very harsh about this because we cannot even imagine what amount of things this RLV can do. This will like, you know, we had this idea; some engineers were like, "Okay, build it, put it on this and just launch it into orbit and figure it out. Does it work? Does it not work?" They can fine-tune all their tools, and all their tools will go from "Okay, hope it works" to "Bro, we got this." That is like flat priceless. And anything that you want to return back, for example, biological samples, let's say spacesuit samples where you need to return it in order to study it properly, this is like "Shut up and take my money."

So, it's one of those things, and there is no alternative for real-world space testing. So, that's why ISRO is developing it, and that's why USA will show us about this. And China apparently has a variant of this, but nobody is exactly clear. But like, there are some rumors that they have something like this, and I would be surprised if they do not. This is like "shut up and take my money" kind of technology. Imagine testing everything that you want to put in a satellite in an actual real space environment. That's awesome.

Interesting fact about Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) -

You have heard that thousands of Russian soldiers, their generals were getting died everyday in the Russia-Ukraine war? How was it happening so much ? Because of this Boeing X-37. NASA was using it for surveillance. Russian soldiers, where were their generals? Everything was being found out with its help.

You can use surveillance optics in this, just put into it, so it's one of those things: a very low-cost military option with infinite possibilities.

Russia literally says that this is a nuclear payload delivery device.

USA: we have the satellite that we can launch in just two days, and then we can achieve pinpoint accuracy for our Himars missile, nobody will figure out how that happened, how you developed a new satellite? We didn't. We had this Boeing X-37 to do that for us.

It's one of those things, and be mindful, this has been working in the background since April, 2010. That's the first time it went into orbit, so it's one of those things that you may not think about, but this is very priceless. Any nation that really wants to develop space technology rapidly and iteratively must have such a device.

It's kind of amusing, given the fact that they somehow managed to figure it out during April, 2010. That's, wow, that's like someone in NASA was like, "We should do something," and then DARPA is like, "It's mine." 😀😀

I hope those people who don't understand what this thing is or those who, after watching news or YouTube videos, think of it as a space shuttle or satellite launch vehicle, actually understand what ISRO is trying to do. This is an Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV). If ISRO succeeds and if you get to see significant changes and growth in India and ISRO in the space sector in the future, then understand that a large part of it is happening because of this. And who knows, in the future, it may play a significant role in conflicts such as India-China or India-Pakistan wars.

Top Comments
Beacon Beacon
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There should be a different category for these type of posts, which no one reads.

9 Dimers
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Blaze Blaze
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I thought it's a car with 400kmph speed

Beacon Beacon
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There should be a different category for these type of posts, which no one reads.

Deal Lieutenant Deal Lieutenant
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Maudi hee smjh skta hai es post ko hum nhi . stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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bro election is coming so tea seller has told isro to do some dry runs for news/pr in order to stay relevant & trending in the algorithm

Pro Tech Guru Pro Tech Guru
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New content for WhatsApp forwards 😅

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Critic Critic
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Generous Generous
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sometime i wonder there are so many poverty people , desease people  children , old age people , jobless depresion people , roads, hospital to be made ,sanitation, education to be given and that would require funding 

Finance Ninja Finance Ninja
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This is the difference between a common man and a genius (I'm not speaking for myself; I'm speaking for those with high IQs).

If you want to solve all these problems in the country, invest in science.

99% of what we are using today has originated from space technology, and that's where all industries, businesses, and jobs have been created. How did the USA become so developed? It's because of space technology.

Interesting fact, Remember for a lifetime:

We use 0.3% to 0.4% of our budget in ISRO. Listen carefully, what I'm trying to say. "We use 0.3% to 0.4% of our budget in ISRO"

Now we allocate around 99.6% of our budget money for addressing the remaining problems you mentioned.

Now, understand this. If we are unable to solve all these problems even after spending 99.6% of the money, will adding 0.4% solve the problem?

If your IQ level is at least 100, you'll understand how meaningful my statement is. Otherwise, my friend, I can't do anything.

During the Cold War, NASA received 4% of the US budget, and today, due to that same 4%, the USA is a superpower dominating the entire world. Because everything we use in our daily lives is 99% space technology, it's creating new industries, businesses, and jobs.

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