ISRO Successfully Launches the First ‘Make in India’ Space Vehicle
India celebrates yet another proud moment. ISRO has successfully launched the first of its kind, Make in India prototype of reusable space vehicle. RLV – TD, the mini space craft was launched successfully at 9 AM (23rd May 2016). The vehicle rose 43 miles into the air before gliding down, confirming a safe landing in the Bay of Bengal.
Even though the new mini aircraft will not be offering any passenger launches yet, the cost of its make brings forth a new revolution in the field of space research. This is the country’s low cost smart makes, costing as little as $14 million. Analysts say that such a frugal amount spent on a real aircraft is way lesser than even the fake American ones that are used in Hollywood flicks like Gravity. The latter came to a cost of a whopping $100 million!!
During the flight of the craft, crucial pointers such as autonomous navigation, reusable thermal protection system, control mechanism, and re-entry mission management have been said to be successfully validated, enabling the craft to be the future torch bearer of breakthrough inventions. ISRO also hopes to launch a full scale, reusable space shuttle in the span of next ten years, which means 10 times reduction of the current launch costs.
The success of this reusable space vehicle opens doors for newer promises and possibilities. The fact that ‘Make in India’ has touched the pinnacles of the skies is a sheer matter of pride. Experts state that whether or not this reusable space craft can be enhanced is a matter of conjecture, but they do not deny positive outcomes that begin with such a leap.
Some interesting facts about the RLV TD Launch Vehicle
The vehicle measures 6.5 meters long and weighs about 1.75 tonnes. It was built at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram by a large team of 600 odd scientists in the last 5 years.
The new reusable technology enables launching objects 10 times into the space.
The space craft was launched on top of a rocket engine that burned slowly to enable the vertical lifting of the vehicle
This will be the first time for the ISRO to fly a winged body and land back on a make shift runway arrangement.
After US and Russia, India is the only country to have flown a winged spacecraft.