India brings back orbiting satellite to earth for first time

India today successfully brought back a spacecraft to earth, giving a new impetus to the proposed manned mission to space in the next decade.

A 550-kg recoverable space capsule that was launched by a home-built rocket on January 10 returned to earth’s atmosphere, splashing down in the Bay of Bengal, about 140 km east of Sriharikota coast at 9.46 am, as planned.

As it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, after initial aerodynamic braking, a parachute system reduced the touch down velocity, and a floatation system kept the capsule, named Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1), afloat. The success in demonstrating spacecraft recovery technology capability is termed  as  an “important beginning” in India’s ambition to put a man in space some years from now.