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ISRO’s Mission Accomplished: 10 Facts to Know About Swadeshi Space Shuttle Test

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. PM Narendra Modi congratulated the scientists at ISRO after the success of this test and tweeted a congratulations message to them.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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