After the successul re-entry module mission in December, ISRO will carry out a test flight of Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) in the second quarter of this year or some time in May-June period.
The reusable vehicle will work more like a space shuttle that the US used to send into space till it retired them all last year. It brings down the cost of satellite launches and makes ISRO experiment similar capabilities as NASA or spaceX have in the field of space exploration.
The Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will have its Technology Demonstrator vehicle weighing 1.5 Tonnes lofted to a height of 70 km using solid booster, thus attaining 5 times the speed of sound.
Once in desired height, it will descend by gliding and splashing down into the sea, essentially demonstrating the Hypersonic aerodynamics, Avionics system, Thermal protection system, Control system and mission management for future design changes to be made to the vehicle.
Development of Reusable Launch Vehicles poses a real challenge for the ISRO and involves development of many cutting-edge technologies and the cost factor depends on development and realization of the degree of reusability of the vehicle, said Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
ISRO has already developed and test-launched its next generation launch vehicle GSLV MkIII, capable of launching 4 ton class communication satellites to Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit, which would bring down the cost of satellite launches and the next phase would be to launch the re-usable launch vehicle, informed the minister of state in PMO.