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ISRO gears up for maiden launch of space shuttle. Facts you need to know about the RLV-TD

The Space Shuttle Weighs And Measures As Much As A Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Standing 6.5m Tall, The RLV-TD Weighs In At 1.75 Tons. The Shuttle Will Cross The Speed Of Sound As It Will Enter The Earth's Atmosphere. Hence, It Is Named The Hyper Sonic Experiment (HEX).

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 18 May 2016, 06:10:09 PM
ISRO to launch India's first space shuttle RLV-TD next week: All you need to know. (Representational Image)

New Delhi:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to make history as for the very first time it is embarking on a never before space flight on May 23. The countdown for the maiden launch of ISRO’s very own indigenous version of a ‘space shuttle’, which is completely made-in-India, has begun. (Also Read: India gets its own satellite system as ISRO successfully launches IRNSS-1G)

Here are 10 facts you should know about the RLV-TD:

1. India's first space shuttle, the indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), will be launched at 9:30 AM at India’s space port at Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh.

2. ISRO will launch a spacecraft with delta wings for the first time ever and interestingly it will be glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. However, during the experiment, the chances for recovery of RLV-TD from the sea are thin as the vehicle is likely to disintegrate on impact with water because it is not designed to float. 

3. The purpose of the experiment is to see the RLV-TD glide and navigate from a velocity five times higher than the speed of sound onto a designated virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal some 500 km from the coast and not to watch it float. (Also Read: ISRO-NASA collaborate for NISAR satellite to study climate change and earthquakes)

4. The RLV-TD looks quite similar to the American space shuttle and is a scale model which is around 6 times smaller than the final version.

5. It will take at least 10-15 years for the final version to get ready because designing a human rated reusable rocket is no child play.

6. If the launch of RLV-TD gets successful, it will save ISRO millions of capital invested in the following missions. The average cost of launching a space shuttle without a reusable spaceship is around  5000 USD per 1 kg. If this mission turns out to be a success, it will bring down the cost to around 2000 USD per kg., which is a reduction of more than half. (Also Read: Mars Opposition 2016: The red planet will dazzle the brightest)

7. The new technology has been derived from the vision of late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and if successful, it will be able to save on the massive expenditure on space missions, which has been a major deterrent in space exploration.

8. The space shuttle weighs and measures as much as a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Standing 6.5m tall, the RLV-TD weighs in at 1.75 tons.

9. The shuttle will cross the speed of sound as it will enter the Earth's atmosphere. Hence, it is named the hyper sonic experiment (HEX).

10. The Indian government has spent a whopping 95 crores in the making of the RLV-TD.

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First Published : 17 May 2016, 01:16:00 PM

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ISRO RLV TD Space Shuttle