India successfully launches reusable launch vehicle RLV-TD
Jun 15, 2016
The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully tested the country’s first winged-body aerospace vehicle.
Objective of Launch:
- To test the characterisation of the aero-thermo dynamics of hypersonic flights;
- To test the autonomous mission management of hypersonic vehicles; and
- To test the necessary re-entry technology for the vehicles
More details of the project:
- Being dubbed a complete ‘Made-in-India’ effort, the Reusable Launch-Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is the first time that ISRO launches an indigenous space craft with delta wings.
- 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 reusable space shuttle project.
- The purpose of the experiment is to help the shuttle glide over a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal, situated 500 km from the coast.
- India’s frugal engineers believe the solution to reducing cost of launching satellites into orbit is to recycle the rocket or make it reusable.
- The special booster or the first stage is powered using a solid fuel and it will hoist the RLV-TD prototype to about 70 km into the atmosphere from where the descent will begin.
- The making of the Indian space shuttle or RLV-TD has taken five years and the government has invested Rs. 95 crore in the project. This flight will test the capability of the vehicle to survive a re-entry at speeds higher than that of sound.
- In this flight, critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance & control, reusable thermal protection system and re-entry mission management have been successfully validated.