The idea is to fly the vehicle into space, inject an orbiter and land back on Earth like an aircraft

ISRO successfully launches indigenous space shuttle RLV-TDA screenshot from the launch video
news Monday, May 23, 2016 - 08:17

In a first, India successfully launched an indigenous space satellite launch vehicle - RLV-TD - from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 7 am on Monday. 

The Times of India reported that the idea was to develop a vehicle to fly into space, inject an orbiter and land on Earth like an aircraft, so it can be reused. 

This is similar to some of the current projects that companies like Space X are trying to achieve, and cut the costs of delivering a payload to the International Space Station (ISS).

NDTV reported:

The 6.5 meter long Re-Usable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) weighs about 1.75 tons. It was built by a team of 600 scientists at a cost of Rs 95 crore over five years. Re-usable technology will help reduce the cost of launching objects into space by 10 times.

Speaking to the NDTV, Dr K Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram said:

"This data from RLV-TD's launch is going to be used for configuring the real reusable launch vehicle. We have already identified the area where we are going to land this space shuttle at Sriharikota where a five-km long runway will be made...the vehicle will not be recovered because this vehicle is not designed for recovery. Soon after landing it will break. Our aim is to generate data so during the flight itself continuous telemetry will come in, we will acquire it, and then the data will be used".

The final space shuttle even plans to carry astronauts on board.


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