Recently India became the fifth nation to successfully conduct the flight demonstration of a scaled down version of a winged-body reusable launch vehicle.
It is a stepping stone towards fully reusable Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) space transportation system.
- TSTO launch vehicle can launch payload to Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) with 15 times reusability.
- It also validates the critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance & control, reusable thermal protection system and re-entry mission management
- Low earth orbit is defined as an orbit within a locus extending from the earth‘s surface up to an altitude of 1,200 miles.
- Most communication applications use LEO satellites because it takes less energy to place the satellites into LEO.
- Also, they need less powerful amplifiers for successful transmission.
- As LEO orbits are not geostationary, a network of satellites is required to provide continuous coverage.