Indian Reusable Launch Vehicle Testbed ready for High-Speed Flight

Lunch on 23 may 2016 on 04:00 UTC
Spaceflight101 Launch Calendar
India’s first winged space plane will take flight on Monday for a 10-minute test flight representing the first small step in an ambitious development program for a re-usable launch vehicle combining rocket and air-breathing propulsion technology.
RLV-TD in HEX Test Flight Configuration (left) & with Scramjet Propulsion (right) – Image: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organization is gearing up for the first flight in its Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstration Test Program, involving a miniature space plane completing a sub-orbital test flight for a demonstration of the hypersonic flight characteristics of the vehicle. Launched atop a 9-ton solid rocket booster, the spaceplane will go through a hypersonic re-entry and complete maneuvers in the atmosphere to demonstrate its aerodynamic design and provide knowledge for future test flights that will aim for an autonomous landing on a runway.

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