Isro launches its first reusable vehicle, aims at cutting costs

  • HT Correspondent
  • Updated: May 24, 2016 07:52 IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully tested its first ever reusable launch vehicle in Sriharikota on Monday morning.

The 6.5-metre-long Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) weighs about 1.7 tonnes. The cost of this project is Rs 95 crore. Isro used a mini-rocket with a booster to fly the winged reusable launch vehicle into lower earth orbit for demonstrating the feasability of the technology. The RLV-TD was built as a flying testbed to evaluate technologies developed to reduce the cost of launching rockets for carrying satellites into the earth’s polar and geo-stationary orbits.

This will be the first time Is row ill fly a winged body and bring it back to land on a make-shift runway in the Bay of Bengal. In further tests, an undercarriage will be placed to make it land. “The exercise will enable us to collect data on hypersonic speed, autonomous landing an cruise flight using air-breathing propulsion,” said K Sivan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ahead of the launch.

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