The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-I) was a “grand success” as the capsule “gently” splashed down into the Bay of Bengal and recovered by the Coast Guard. ISRO hopes to use this experiment to lay foundation for taking a human being into space within 10 years and this experiment has given it crucial insights into reusable launch, re-entry, and recovery technologies.
The 555 kilogram SRE-I made of mild steel carried two payloads and orbited the earth for 12 days since January 10 at an altitude of 635 km before plunging into the atmosphere at 29,000 kilometer an hour generating 1400 to 2000 degrees Celsius. Three parachutes and deceleration systems worked efficiently and the flotation system inflated at the right time. During its orbit, the ISRO also performed microgravity experiments on the spherical cone-shaped SRE-I. At the end of its journey, the capsule was intact, safely recovered, and taken to Sriharikota for analysis.