India’s New Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Prototype Demonstration

By: | August 14th, 2016

India Space Research

India Space Research (Image Courtesy

IndustryTap has covered the recent renaissance in Indian technology and the country’s ambitious plans for its economy, energy system, alternative energy, environment, and people. One recent example is India’s world record for planting 50 million trees in one day! Another is the Indian Space Agency’s recent successful launch of 20 satellites at the same time using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C23), including Cartosat-2 for Earth observation.

India’s New Reusable Launch Vehicle, Space Plane

A new illustration of Indian prowess is the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Space Shuttle Program and the May 23, 2016, test launch of a $14 million prototype RLV-TD reusable rocket in Sriharikota. RLV-TD, a completely indigenous Indian product, is a winged aerospace vehicle that reaches hypersonic speeds and looks similar to the US Space Shuttle but is smaller at this stage, weighing 1.7 tons and about the size of a minibus.

This test’s main objective was to test the RLV-TD’s reentry into the atmosphere to see how well it could withstand high temperatures. The test is considered the first step in India’s path to having a reusable space shuttle. India, like every other country with a space program, is working to reduce the costs of space launch to as little as $2,000 per kilogram.

The following video show India’s first ever indigenous space shuttle launch.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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