Re-Usable Launch Vehicle

To lower the cost of space exploration, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is presently working on the creation of a reusable launch vehicle. The Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) program’s successful landing experiment at the Aeronautical Test Range at Challakere, Karnataka, on March 2, 2023, marked a recent milestone in this pursuit. A spacecraft type called a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) is made to be sent into orbit more than once to carry out cargo launches. RLVs are meant to be reusable, as opposed to standard launch vehicles, which are made for a single use. This is done to lower the cost of space exploration. Modern materials and technology are used to construct RLVs to enable them to withstand the high pressures and temperatures in space travel.


ISRO’s RLV-TLD successful mission:


  • The Reusable Launch Vehicle Autonomous Landing Experiment (RLV LEX) mission was used to conduct the test.
  • The RLV was lifted by a helicopter to a height of 4.5 kilometres, after which it was released into midair to make an autonomous runway landing.
  • Precise parameters were attained during the landing to replicate the landing of a space reentry vehicle.
  • The mission used several indigenous ISRO-developed systems, including sensor, instrument, and localized navigation systems.
  • The technology created for RLV LEX has been incorporated into other ISRO launch vehicles currently in use, improving their effectiveness and economy.


Advantages of RLV:

Cost Savings: The main advantage of RLVs over single-use launch vehicles is their substantial cost savings. A conventional launch vehicle needs to be constructed from the ground up each time it is used and can only be used once. RLVs, on the other hand, are made to be reused numerous times, which lowers the cost of assembly and manufacture.

Technological Advancements: Significant advances in manufacturing, propulsion systems, and materials science are needed to develop reusable launch vehicles. Beyond space exploration, these developments may spur technical breakthroughs in other sectors of the economy. Thus, the successful RLV launch by ISRO marks an important turning point for space exploration as well as the larger technology sector.


Future Opportunities:


  • Since only the US and China now have RLV technology, India has joined an exclusive group. This accomplishment will enhance our reputation as a leader in science and technology on a global scale.
  • The creation of new space-based services, like satellite maintenance, repair, and refuelling, can be facilitated by RLVs. Reusable launch vehicles make it possible to deliver these services more effectively and economically, opening up new business prospects for India in the space-based services sector.



The RLV’s successful launch demonstrates ISRO’s technological capability and India’s capacity to take the lead in the international space sector. It creates new paths for space exploration, research, and business ventures that will help the global community as well as India. In addition, among other benefits, the development and use of RLVs can result in space tourism, cost-effective space missions, and space trash control. India’s space program and its contributions to science and technology could have a bright future if RLV technology is continued to be invested in.