India's reusable space shuttle test

Added On May 29, 2016

India has tested its capability to launch a reusable space shuttle earlier this week, in an attempt to build a fully reusable satellite-launching spacecraft.
The industry hopes that this preliminary experiment could make it big in the global market with its significantly low cost. 
Named RLV-TD, the Reusable Launch Vehicle took off at 7 in the morning local time from Sriharikota launch station. After it separated from the booster rocket at an altitude of 50 kilometres, the winged space plane went 21 kilometre farther into space and then started its descent.
The RLV-TD re-entered into earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of around 5 Mach and splashed down the Bay of Bengal. The entire test operation took 10 minutes.
India has achieved yet another milestone as the country launched its first reusable satellite launch vehicle. But the most important part of the story is the launch vehicle's low cost as it is now going to open a plethora of opportunities for India in the global space market.
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) scientists say that the winged plane will not be recovered from the sea as they have made it only to experiment with several technologies and left it for crash.
Space industry experts term it a giant leap for India as well as the rest of the world. Sachin Bahmba, Director of a New Delhi based commercial space organization says the test though is being called a trial but would open up opportunities for things like space tourism.
The RLV-TD prototype took almost five years to complete and it costs only 14 million US dollars as against the development cost of 450 million US dollars on India's satellite launcher GSLV.
India's space mission as they claim will bring down the cost of satellite launch by as much as 10 times to 2000 US dollars per kilogram. However, it will take 10-15 years of intensive flight testing before India can achieve the goal.