India successfully tested the first ever ‘Swadeshi’ space shuttle today after its Re-Usable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV – TD) was launched at 7 AM from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Just after 20-minutes from the take-off this first Swadeshi shuttle, ISRO (Indian Space & Research Organization) announced the success of this mission.
We have listed the top 10 facts about this successful launch that you should know:
- This 6.5metre long scale model of RLV –TD weighs around 1.75 tonnes. INR 95 crore was spent in the making of this vehicle. It took 5 years for a team of 600 scientists to build this massive space vehicle at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (Thiruvananthapuram).
- This re-usable technology used in this space vehicle aims at reducing the cost of launching the objects into space by about 10 times. It costs around $20,000 for sending a Kilogram in the space at present.
- ISRO is planning to test two more prototypes before the launch of its final version which is nearly 40metres long. It will be taking off by 2030.
- PM Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists at ISRO after the success of this test and tweeted a congratulations message to them.
- The spacecraft was launched atop the nine-ton rocket engine which is designed to burn a bit slowly for accommodating vertical lifting of the winged body.
- The space shuttle flew at a height of 70 kilometres and then engaged in free-gliding flight which started with a primary velocity 5 times faster than that of sound. It landed in Bay of Bengal, 500kilometres away from Sriharikota.
- This is the first time ISRO is able to bring back the winged body back and made it land on the make-shift runway. The further tests will make it land possible at Sriharikota itself.
- The RLV is 40metres in length and will also carry Indian astronauts. On this first flight, RLV-TD will not be recovered, but the data collected will help in improvement of designs.
- No other country is operationally flying the winged vessel to the space. US retired its space shuttles in year 2011 and the Russians flew their just once in year 1989.
- The RV will be pitted against the likes of Blue Origin’s New Shephart rocket and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in the race for mastering re-usable technology. Both these companies have tested the re-usable technology partially.