Nobody can question NASA’s status as the pioneers of space exploration. After managing to get Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon (which the USA will never let the world forget), they’ve only aimed for the stars.
But ISRO has been taking big strides in the field. Stationed in a country so obsessed with bargaining, it has even managed to cut off expenses on launching space shuttles and that too by ten times. That’s even more than you can get by pestering the ‘Sarojini wale bhaiya’.
As with every great accomplishment we have a mandatory tweet from the Prime Minister. Just hoping KRK doesn’t follow suit, his stupidity is kind of the reason why aliens don’t talk to us and we have to make such efforts to get to them.
So what is the RLV-TD exactly?
The Reusable Launch Vehicle was launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and is about 6.5 metre long and 1.75 ton in weight.
The government has invested Rs 95 Crores on the RLV-TD project. The reusable technology is capable of placing satellites in the orbit and then re-entering the atmosphere. The shuttle has wings which accommodate free gliding and a nine-ton rocket engine powering the vertical lifting.
As stated by ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar, “We are designing for the first time a winged body, which will come back from space. It will be carried up on a solid rocket motor. In addition, this is the first of a series of experiments and we still have a long way to go till we reach the actual RLV, which will give us a tremendous capacity in terms of launching at a very low cost.”
In simpler terms, the RLV-TD is still a very preliminary step, the first of four in total. But the success is still very encouraging in the development of the final version of the winged body which is estimated to take around 10-15 years to complete which will be about 40 metre long and carry Indian astronauts.
The success of the project is even more paramount considering the fact that NASA abandoned its own reusable rocket project in 2011. Also, no other country is currently operationally flying a winged body into space.
ISRO is showing its efficiency
This is not the first instance that ISRO have managed to significantly cut off expenses. Take the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) for an example.
It mirrored the USA’s own Maven mission and yet managed to pull it off in a bargain of the price it cost NASA.
Ironically, the former NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin who coined the motto ‘faster, better, cheaper’ for the organization would have been given a real run for his money had he been asked to deliver a Mars Mission at such a low cost.
We feel patriotic watching movies with made up stories but we need to pay more attention to the tangible achievements of our nation.
We are proud of you ISRO!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.