According to the report, to bring down the satellite launch cost, ISRO is aiming to build RLV similar to the USA's space shuttle. This will put satellites in orbit and come back to land for the next mission.
Currently, there are two Indian rockets in service—Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is soon going to launch. All of these are expendable ones.
S. Somanath, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) said that they are planning to test the RLV's landing in Chitradurga District in Karnataka during the month of November or December this year.
As per the plans, the RLV is likely to be lifted up by a helicopter and will be released from the height of 4kms. Once released, the RLV will navigate and glide towards the runway and land on its own in an airfield in Chitradurga District by deploying its parachute.
According to ISRO, the RLV Interface System (RIS) - for interfacing with helicopter - and Qualification Model of landing gear have been released.
The RLV will ascend to orbit, stay there, re-enter and land on a runway like an aircraft. The technology might have to undergo challenges of meeting the complexities of both a rocket and an aircraft.
''About 30-40 ISRO officials have to be there in Chitradurga and stay there for about two weeks,'' said Somanath.