The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that it is preparing to launch four satellites on a single Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) in January and one of the satellites will be recoverable after a week or so in orbit.
The cone-shaped Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) will weigh 615 kilograms (kg) is a technological forerunner that will validate certain indigenous re-entry technologies such as deceleration and flotation systems and metallurgical enhancements to withdraw the heat of re-entry. The SRE payloads will perform two experiments relating to the growth of crystals and a bio-mimetic experiment to study the growth of minerals in micro-gravity environment. ISRO says that after its week in space, the SRE will be de-orbited and brought back to the earth using precise maneuvers that will teach the organization navigation, guidance and control during the re-entry phase, and validation of a thermal protection system to protect the satellite from burning up on re-entry. Three parachutes in the SRE will open up sequentially when it is 5 kilometers from sea at predicted altitudes and gently splash the SRE which will later be recovered by the Navy.
The “multi-mission” PSLV-C7 rocket will carry the SRE, Cartosat-II weighing 665 kg, Indonesian and University of Berlin jointly developed LAPAN-Tubsat weighing 56 kg, and Argentinean Pehuen weighing 7 kg micro-satellite.