Space capsule recovered

MUMBAI: The Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) that was launched by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR Sriharikota on 10 January, was successfully recovered today after being maneuvered to reenter the earth's atmosphere and descend over Bay of Bengal about 140 km East of Sriharikota.

Since its launch, SRE-1 was going round the earth in a circular polar orbit at an altitude of 637 km. In preparation for its reentry, SRE-1 was put into an elliptical orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 485 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 639 km by issuing commands from the Spacecraft Control Centre (SCC) of ISTRAC at Bangalore on January 19, 2007. The critical de-boost operations were executed from SCC, Bangalore supported by a network of ground stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota, Biak in Indonesia, Saskatoon in Canada, Svalbard in Norway besides shipborne and airborne terminals.

The recovery operations were supported and carried out by the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy using ships, aircraft and helicopters.

During its stay in orbit for the last 12 days, the two experiments on board SRE-1 were successfully conducted under micro gravity conditions. One of the experiments was related to study of metal melting and crystallizations under micro gravity conditions. The second experiment, designed by National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, was intended to study the synthesis of nano-crystals under micro gravity conditions. This experiment can help in designing better biomaterials having closest proximity with natural biological products. The experimental results will be analysed in due

course by the principal scientific investigators of the two experiments.

The successful launch, in-orbit operation of the on board experiments and reentry and recovery of SRE-1 has demonstrated India's capability in important technologies like aero-thermo structures, deceleration and flotation systems, navigation, guidance and control. SRE-1 is an important

beginning for providing a low cost platform for micro-gravity experiments in space science and technology and return specimen from space.

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