Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to undertake the maiden launch of its very own indigenously version of a 'space shuttle'.
Sriharikota may soon witness the launch of the indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle - Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD).
The RLV-TD is not likely to be recovered from sea during this experiment as it is expected that the vehicle will disintegrate on impact with water since it is not designed to float.
The main reason of the experiment is not to see it float but to navigate from a velocity five times higher than the speed of sound onto a designated runway in the Bay of Bengal some 500 km from the coast.
The concluding version will take at least 10-15 years to be ready since designing a human rated reusable rocket is no small thing.
India embarked on making its own version of the space shuttle by thinking about it more than 15 years ago, but it seems work in earnest started only five years ago when a dedicated team of engineers and scientists decided to make RLV-TD a reality. The spacecraft is 6.5-m-long and weigh 1.75 tons. It will be hoisted into the atmosphere on a special rocket booster.
The special booster is powered using a solid fuel and it will host the RLV-TD experiment to about 70 km into atmosphere from where the descent will start. During the descent, phase which is fundamentally a glider like event small thrusters will aid the vehicle to be navigated on to the precise spot where it is supposed to land.