The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on a Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD). If all goes according to plan, the world will so get a vehicle that can go to space and return to be reused for another mission.
RLV-TD is in the last stages of pre-launch testing. ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar told TOI the vehicle would reach Bengaluru for acoustic tests to check how it can fare during the initial stages of the launch.
This will play a crucial role in ISRO’s proposed manned mission – the agency is looking at sending two astronauts out of the earth’s orbit and bring them back – and bring down the cost of space launches to one tenth.
ISRO spends between Rs 120 crore and Rs 140 crore on a PSLV launch. This is not the cost of the entire mission, which is higher. For the Mars Orbiter Mission, ISRO spent Rs 450-crore – Rs 140-crore of it just on the launch.