India successfully launched the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) on Monday morning, capable of launching satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

"Mission accomplished successfully," an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spokesman told PTI soon after RLV-TD HEX-01 was flight tested with the take off at 7 am.

Representative Image | Source: Twitter

Here's are 10 things you need to know about the space shuttle:

  1. The RLV-TD is 6.5 metre-long and weighs approximately 1.75 tonnes.
  2. It's estimated cost is around Rs 95 crore, reports NDTV.
  3. It was built at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram by a team of 600 scientists over five years.
  4. Known as hypersonic flight experiment, it was about 10 minutes mission from liftoff to splashdown.
  5. After launch, the space shuttle flew to an altitude of 70 kilometres and then engaged in a free-gliding flight that started with an initial velocity five times that of sound, reports NDTV.
  6. It, then, landed on a stretch of water in the Bay of Bengal some 500 kilometres from Sriharikota.
  7. The RLV-TD is unlikely to be recovered from sea during this experiment as it is expected that the vehicle will disintegrate on impact with water since it is not designed to float.
  8. The RLV-TD which was launched is an experimental model is almost 6 times smaller than the final version.
  9. The final RLV will be about 40 meters in length, take 10-15 years to be developed and will also be able carry Indian astronauts.
  10. This launch matters because scientists at ISRO believe that they could reduce the cost of launching stuff into space by as much as 10 times if reusable technology succeeds.

(Feature image source: Twitter | @NewsX + @ndtv)