India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched the first homemade Reusable Launch Vehicle on Monday from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This launch vehicle allows India to launch satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated scientists on the successful launch.
“Launch of India’s first indigenous space shuttle RLV-TD is the result of the industrious efforts of our scientists. Congrats to them,” the PM said on twitter.
RLV is developed in home grown technology which is said be low cost, reliable and on-demand space access. ISRO has declared the mission as successful soon after RLV-TD HEX-01 was flight tested with the take off at 7 am. Considered as hypersonic flight experiment, it was about 10 minute’s mission from liftoff to splashdown.
It is the first time ISRO has launched a winged flight vehicle, which glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. ISRO said that it is intended to go through a series of technology demonstration exercises with reusable rockets to reduce the cost of access to space.
RLV-TD is a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step towards realising a Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable vehicle, ISRO said.
It has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, including hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion, it said.
The 6.5 metre long ‘aeroplane’-like structure weighing 1.75 tons was hoisted into the atmosphere on a special rocket booster.
The RLV-TD is described as “a very preliminary step” in the development of a reusable rocket, whose final version is expected to take in 10 to 15 years.