The India Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully completed the second freefall flight and autonomous landing of a scaled prototype of a proposed reusable space plane. The vehicle, named Pushpak, was dropped from a tether on a Chinook helicopter at an altitude of almost 15,000 feet and glided to a landing at India’s Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka. “Pushpak autonomously approached the runway along with cross-range corrections. It landed precisely on the runway and came to a halt using its brake parachute, landing gear brakes and nose wheel steering system,” ISRO said in a statement.

India first landed the Pushpak in April of 2023 and it’s part of an aggressive space program that has landed a probe on the moon, sent a capsule to the sun and hopes to launch four astronauts into orbit in the next year. The space plane is envisioned as an economical way to get people and cargo into orbit. But while India is trumpeting its space plane development, both the U.S. and China are being much more secretive about the vehicles they are testing. Both countries recently launched their space planes on missions that are strictly classified.

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