Although the PSLV-C7 launch was a runaway success with the injection of four satellites into orbit on Wednesday, the job of A. Subramonian has just begun. For, he is the Project Director of India’s first recoverable satellite called the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE), one of the four satellites put in orbit.
“Right now, I feel that my job has just started. I am looking forward to January 22 morning when the SRE will be recovered,” Mr. Subramonian said.
After the 555-kg SRE stays in orbit for 11 days, it will be de-orbited and brought back to the earth in a sequential manner. It is coated with thermal tiles to prevent it from burning up when it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere. After it re-enters the atmosphere, about 5 km above the Bay of Bengal, three parachutes in the SRE will open up one after another. First, the pilot chute will pull out the drogue chute, which will deploy, and then the main chute will deploy. The main chute will slow down the descent of the SRE and it will ultimately splash down into the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east of the Sriharikota island. A floatation system will keep it afloat. Dye markers will make it visible. The Coast Guard will recover it.
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