India’s new space shuttle

RLV-TD1

Yesterday a shuttle was launched but it wasn’t by the US, China or Russia. India launched a scaled down version of their new shuttle. The RLV-TD (Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator) was launched yesterday from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 07:00hr IST.

“From that peak altitude of 65 km, RLV-TD began its descent followed by atmospheric re-entry at around Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound). The vehicle’s Navigation, Guidance and Control system accurately steered the vehicle during this phase for safe descent. After successfully surviving a high temperatures of re-entry with the help of its Thermal Protection System (TPS), RLV-TD successfully glided down to the defined landing spot over Bay of Bengal, at a distance of about 450km from Sriharikota, thereby fulfilling its mission objectives. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from ground stations at Sriharikota and a shipborne terminal. Total flight duration from launch to landing of this mission of the delta winged RLV-TD, lasted for about 770seconds.” – ISRO

RLV-TD2

image credit: ISRO

RLV-TD3

Image credit: ISRO

Link to ISRO press release  and more images can be found here

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