New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully test launched the first ‘Made in India’ space shuttle — called the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) — early on Monday morning from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The test launch is considered a significant step in India’s space endeavour. It’s especially important because in 2011, the U.S.’s Nasa abandoned its resuable space shuttle project
The test launch of the 6.5 metre long and 1.75 ton reusable launch vehicle ( RLV-TD ) occurred at 7 am on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
“Mission accomplished successfully,” ISRO said after the launch.
The RLV-TD is described as “a very preliminary step” in the development of a reusable rocket, the final version of which is expected to take 10-15 years.
The government has invested Rs 95 crores in the RLV-TD project.
ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar explained that the experimental RLV it is essentially an attempt by India to bring down the cost of making infrastructure for space.
“The RLV is a mechanism for us to bring down the cost of launch. We intend to go through a series of technology demonstration exercises, the first one of which we call HEX-01, that is a hypersonic experiment. It is called a winged body,” Kumar said.
“Therefore, we are designing for the first time a winged body, which will come back from space. It will be carried up on a solid rocket motor. In addition, this is the first of a series of experiments and we still have a long way to go till we reach the actual RLV, which will give us a tremendous capacity in terms of launching at a very low cost,” he added.