India launches 'Swadeshi' space shuttle from Sriharikota

PTI
Published May 23, 2016, 7:59 am IST
Updated May 23, 2016, 2:37 pm IST
The 6.5 m long aeroplane like structure weighs 1.75 tonnes and was hoisted into the atmosphere on the special rocket booster.
The RLV Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD), that is ultimately aimed at putting satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere, was carried up on a solid rocket motor. (Photo: Twitter)
 The RLV Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD), that is ultimately aimed at putting satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere, was carried up on a solid rocket motor. (Photo: Twitter)

Sriharikota: India on Sunday successfully launched the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made 'Swadeshi' space shuttle, capable of launching satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

"Mission accomplished successfully," an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spokesman said, soon after RLV-TD HEX-01 was flight tested with the take off at 7 am.

This is the first time ISRO has launched a winged flight vehicle, which glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal, some 500 kilometres from the coast.

Known as hypersonic flight experiment, it was about 10 minutes mission from liftoff to splashdown.

The RLV-TD is a scaled-down model of the reusable launch vehicle.

RLV, being dubbed as India's own space shuttle, is the unanimous solution to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access, according to ISRO scientists.

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 testbed 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.





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