I am avidly waiting fir this test. Fifth year plan (2012-2017) talks about three HEX missions. Lets see how many missions will really be required to understand the hypersonic regime. I dont see a TSTO launcher materialise by 2025. ISRO already has some technologies for TSTO second stage based on SRE experiments. RLVtd will provide technologies particularly winged body fly back booster for first stage of TSTO. What will take long time is developing a SC-460 stage with 3 clustered semi-cryo engines for the first stage and C60 stage with 2 clustered cryogenic engines for the second stage.
[ISRO Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan] said the technology demonstration experiment towards a reusable launch vehicle, will be ready within a year.
Quote[ISRO Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan] said the technology demonstration experiment towards a reusable launch vehicle, will be ready within a year.http://newsonair.nic.in/news.asp?cat=National&id=NN6130
Major Achievements During 2013-2014:- RLV-TD - High altitude Radar Altimeter balloon test with silica tiles was successfully conducted up to an altitude of 700 m at TIFR;- Delivered launch vehicle Inertial Systems (RESINS, RPG and GAINS) for PSLV-C25, RLV-TD (RESINS MKIV R-QM) and GSLV-MK3 (RESINS MKIVA-QM) missions.- Realized qualification model of HDAS for RLV-TD;
Major Activities Planned During 2014-2015:- Flight integration and launch of RLV-HEX 01 mission;
The International Space Station (ISS)— the largest spacecraft ever built—faces an uncertain future with Russia's decision to walk away from it. Moscow's international obligations vis-a-vis the orbiting laboratory were expected to continue well into the next decade. But terrestrial realpolitik caught up with the $100 billion space station in November when Russia's space agency Roscosmos conveyed to NASA that it would end its participation in the ISS by 2020. ISRO has expressed its eagerness to join the ISS. If that happens, unexpected support for the ISS could come from India's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) which is nearing its final stages of testing. The RLV—a hyperplane that can touch outer space, launch satellites and return to Earth—has the potential to become an effective space taxi for the ISS, too.
That article sounds like nonsense. The RLV that India is testing is just a small testbed, and nothing more. By the time India could create the TSTO, the ISS would no longer be in service anymore. It's unfortunate that TSTO is being made to wait until after ULV is started, although I suppose ULV is a logical extension of GSLV Mark-3.
RLV, HSP etc all will undergo a fast forward now that the cryo engine is here. For HSP, there still is a long way to go with GSLV Mk-III, human rated vehicles and lots of testing
Isro will carry out the technology demonstration of the reusable launch vehicle in March, the official said.
“The structure that makes a rocket has to be such that it should have 98% propellant and 2% structure. Only then reusability is possible. Today’s technology does not allow you to go to that level as 5% to 10% will be the mass of the structure and around 90% will be the propellant,” said S. Somanath, associate director of Isro’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
VSSC is trying to develop a Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) which will act as a flying tester to assess hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion. Isro is currently integrating the flight model.In the technology demonstrator, Isro will test if the 12-tonne vehicle can reach five times the speed of sound, whether it can re-enter the atmosphere and land on the sea using its computer system. To be sure, this will be a technological demonstration and the tested vehicle will not be reusable. The VSSC director explained that take-off will be vertical like a rocket, and landing will be like that of an aircraft.
The next experiment would be to land the vehicle on a 2km runway after releasing it from an aircraft from a height of about 5km. The third step would be to take it to a higher altitude and try the ground landing. "As the next step, we would try an air-breaking engine which is under development at Isro," Somanath said.
The multiple demonstration missions will lead to what Isro envisions as a 'two stage to orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle. While India spends Rs300 crore upwards for satellite launches, reusable vehicles hold the key to more affordable launches. Today putting a 1kg object in space costs about $5000. "This should be brought down to at least $500. And reusable vehicles are the answer," said Somanath.
The test-flight will take place either by the end of the first half of this year or the beginning of the second half. Work is progressing satisfactorily
Another leap in space: India to test reusable vehicle in March
In its first flight in June, it will be propelled into space at about six times the speed of sound by a booster, and return after touching an altitude of 70 km. The booster and the reusable launch vehicle (RLV) will plummet into the Bay of Bengal, but once operational both will touch down on return, Dr A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Isro, told Deccan Chronicle, adding “ground tests are on for the first flight scheduled for the end of the first half of this year.