Image: ISRO

India is joining the reusable space race. Its space agency has today launched a 22-foot space shuttle, that will be used test the country’s plans for creating a spacecraft that can be used multiple times.

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The 1.75-tonne un-manned spacecraft—known as Reusable Launch Vehicle—will travel to 43 miles above the Earth’s surface then descend back to 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 $14 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.

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India joins a long line of folks—not least private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin—trying to build a reusable spacecraft.

[BBC]