Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to create history with the launch of first ever fully Indian made reusable space shuttle. ISRO scientists are on the verge of completing the development of spacecraft and are giving final touches at Sriharikota from where the probe would blast into space.
Indian space agency is building a Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) which will be launched in the monsoon season. The reusable launch vehicle will bring down the launch cost by one-tenth. The spacecraft will have delta wings and it will glide back to a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. The launch vehicle will get destroyed after its impact with water but it is a part of the experiment which will ensure that scientists successfully navigated the space shuttle moving at speed five times faster than the speed of sound.
K Sivan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram said these are few small steps towards the bigger goal and if they are successful then it will be another milestone towards the cheaper space programs which will cut down the launch cost from $5000 per kg to $2000 per kg.
It will be the first attempt from the ISRO and it will take another 10-15 years before the final reusable version is ready which will save a lot of money for further research and development programs.
Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam came with the concept of reusable launch vehicle and scientists at ISRO have worked for several years to make his dream come true. Apart from Indian space agency, scientists in other parts of the world like SpaceX (Privately owned space firm by Elon Musk) are also developing reusable launch vehicles and have tested several prototypes.
Indian space shuttle is 6.5 tall and weighs around 1.75 tons while the entire cost of developing the RLV-TD is over 95 crores. The experiment is also known as hypersonic experiment (HEX) as the launch vehicle will move at a speed greater than sound.