May 23, 2016

"The state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has designed and built the 1.7-tonne RLV-TD as a flying testbed to evaluate technologies developed to reduce the cost of launching rockets for carrying satellites into the earth's polar and geo-stationary orbits."

Business Standard: The experimental launch will be from ISRO's spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km northeast of Chennai off the Bay of Bengal coast. by Fakir Balaji via IANS

'"The exercise will enable us collect data on hypersonic speed, autonomous landing ans cruise flight using air-breathing propulsion," Sivan said ahead of the launch.

'Rockets for launching satellites and space exploration are made at the space agency's VSSC at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

'The long-term objective of this mission is to reduce the launch cost to one-tenth of the present through a reusable vehicle.

'Space agencies worldwide spend, on average, $20,000 to make and use medium-to-heavy weight rockets to launch satellites.

'The first technology demonstrator will conduct the hypersonic flight experiment, followed by landing test, return flight experiment and scramjet propulsion test, using a 15-tonne rocket with nine tonne of propellants (solid fuel) as a booster.'

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