ISRO Test-Launches First-Ever ‘Space Shuttle’

Taking a step in development of reusable rocket which will drastically cut down cost of access to space, India on Monday (May 23) successfully flight-tested an indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle, dubbed “swadeshi” space shuttle, from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh. Lifting off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, double delta-winged flight vehicle RLV Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) was hoisted into the atmosphere on the special rocket booster for a peak altitude of over 65 km and released for its re-entry into the atmosphere before its splashdown in the Bay of Bengal. From a 65 km altitude, RLV-TD began its descent followed by atmospheric re-entry at around Mach 5 –five times the speed of sound — with the vehicle’s Navigation, Guidance and Control system accurately steering it during this phase for safe descent, Indian Space Research Organisation said.

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