In an important step in the direction of developing a reusable launch vehicle, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will boost a sleek winged prototype with a test flight on Monday.
The first such flight will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
Idea to develop a vehicle with delta wings and angled tail fins is to fly into space, inject an orbiter and land on earth like an aircraft, so that it can be used again, which will help cut cost of satellite launches to some extent.
In the hypersonic test flight, the vehicle will take off like a rocket at five times the speed of sound (Mach 5) to reach an altitude of 70km. After the ascension, vehicle will manoeuvre and take a turn before re-entry.
But on coming back, vehicle will have a controlled splashdown in the Bay of Bengal rather than an aircraft-like landing, which will be tested after some time.
Test flight will take about 10 minutes.
K Sivan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said that it will take at least ten years to have a full-scale reusable launcher, which will land like an aircraft and can be reused.
The test flight will be a flying test bed to assess three of the basic technologies involved in the development of the vehicle.
It will include aero-thermo dynamic characterisation of the winged re-entry body, its independent mission management to land at a specified location and its hot structures or the heat shield that will guard vehicles in high temperatures.