India is joining the reusable space race. Its space agency has today launched a seven-metre space shuttle, that will be used test the country’s plans for creating a spacecraft that can be used multiple times.
The 1.75-tonne unmanned spacecraft — known as Reusable Launch Vehicle — will travel to 43 miles above the Earth’s atmosphere then descend back to the surface of the planet. This particular shuttle isn’t expected to survive the landing. Instead, it will gather data about the speed and intensity of re-entry, and test the craft’s autonomous landing capabilities.
This mission is the result of five years of work and £9.6 million of investment,according to the BBC. It’s hoped that the country will be using a full-scale reusable spacecraft within the next 10 years.