ISRO's First 'Made In India' Space Shuttle To Take Off On 23 May

22/05/2016 1:25 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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SRIHARIKOTA, INDIA - JUNE 30: India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C23 launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on June 30, 2014 in Sriharikota, India. India today launched five foreign satellites on board an indigenous rocket, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to asks Indian scientists to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a gift to the neighbours. (Photo by Subrata Biswas/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

BENGALURU -- The first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), that can launch satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere, will be flight tested from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 23 May.

"The launch of Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) is slated for Monday morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The launch window is between 7 am to 11 am," a senior ISRO official said.

He said the vehicle will be taken to a height of over 70 km and released for its re-entry into the atmosphere.

This will be the first time ISRO will be launching a winged flight vehicle.

After launch it will be glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal, some 500 km from the coast.

The mission, known as the hypersonic flight experiment, is expected to last about 10 minutes from liftoff to splashdown.

The government has invested ₹95 crore into the RLV-TD project.

The RLV-TD which is the scaled-down model of the reusable launch vehicle is unlikely to be recovered from sea during this experiment as it is expected that the vehicle will disintegrate on impact with water since it is not designed to float.

Reusable launch vehicle is the unanimous solution to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access, according to ISRO scientists.

ISRO said 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.

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 added.

The 6.5 m long 'aeroplane'-like structure weigh 1.75 tons and will be 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 10-15 years.

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