AVATAR is an acronym for “Aerobic Vehicle for Hypersonic Aerospace Transportation”.

It is a single stage reusable space plane which is capable of horizontal take-off and landing. It is an unmanned spacecraft. DRDO is working on it. This can make satellite launches much cheaper as they can take off from conventional airfields. AVATAR’s liquid air cycle engine collects air on the way up, liquefies it, separates oxygen and stores it on board for flight beyond the atmosphere. AVATAR was first announced in May 1998 at the Aero India 98 exhibition held at Bangalore.

AVATAR was a follow up on the ‘Hyperplane’, a dream project of Dr. Kalam in the 1980s. The Hyperplane projects failed due to their immense weight. AVATAR weighs only 25 tonnes. And 60 per cent of it is liquid hydrogen fuel. It can launch satellites weighing one tonne!

The AVATAR design has been patented in India. Applications for registration of the design have been filed in patent offices in the US, Germany, Russia and China.

Picture Credit : Google

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