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Monday, May 23, 2016

India successfully tests first tiny reusable space shuttle

India's space agency is celebrating today after successfully launching and recovering RLV-TD, a prototype reusable space vehicle. The craft was launched at 9:00am local time and rose 43 miles into the air before gliding back down, making a safe landing in the Bay of Bengal. As promising as it sounds, the test craft won't be offering any passenger launches just yet, since it was a seven meter long scale model. Still, now that India has demonstrable proof that its shuttle design works, it could set its sights towards becoming a space power like the US, Russia and China.
A seven meter scale model of a shuttle may sound a little silly when Elon Musk's flinging full-size rockets into the sky, but there's logic here. India's space agency is famously frugal, with the five-year reusable shuttle project believed to cost as little as $14 million. It's not the first time the country has shown up its rivals with its low-budget smarts, either, having put a satellite around Mars in 2014 for just $72 million. By comparison, the budget for the film Gravity was closer to $100 million -- so a real Indian space mission cost less than a fake American one.

India's space agency is celebrating today after successfully launching and recovering RLV-TD, a prototype reusable space vehicle. The craft was launched at 9:00am local time and rose 43 miles into the air before gliding back down, making a safe landing in the Bay of Bengal. As promising as it sounds, the test craft won't be offering any passenger launches just yet, since it was a seven meter long scale model. Still, now that India has demonstrable proof that its shuttle design works, it could set its sights towards becoming a space power like the US, Russia and China.
A seven meter scale model of a shuttle may sound a little silly when Elon Musk's flinging full-size rockets into the sky, but there's logic here. India's space agency is famously frugal, with the five-year reusable shuttle project believed to cost as little as $14 million. It's not the first time the country has shown up its rivals with its low-budget smarts, either, having put a satellite around Mars in 2014 for just $72 million. By comparison, the budget for the film Gravity was closer to $100 million -- so a real Indian space mission cost less than a fake American one.
Via: engagdet.com