ISRO is developing fully reusable vehicle (RLV) technology for two stage to orbit (TSTO) capability.
The first stage will be powered by semi cryogenic winged booster capable of flying back and landing on a runway near the launch site like a conventional aircraft after burnout.
The second stage will be cryogenic .It will deliver satellite into orbit,de-orbit and reenter the atmosphere and parachute down to soft landing on balloons.
The RLV-TD will act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies like hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.
ISRO displayed scale model of the RLV-TD at Aero India 2009.
The RLV-TD will posses wings and tall fins and will be launched atop a 9 ton solid booster called s-9 ,similar to the ones on the PSLV.
Design and Development:
In January 2012, ISRO announced that a scaled prototype, called Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), was approved to be built and tested.
Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology will be developed in phasesthrough series of trial flights.
HEX (Hypersonic Flight Experiment)
LEX (Landing Experiment)
REX (Return Flight Experiment)
SPEX (Scramjet Propulsion Experiment)
Hypersonic Flight Experiment::
Flight testing will start with RLV-TD HEX.
During the mission ,a booster rocket will take the RLV to a specific altitude and release it.
The booster rocket will fall back to a sea.
The lofted RLV will re-enter the atmosphere independantly and be guided for a controlled landing in sea.
In the first trial ,the RLV will not be recovered from sea because it will not be cost effective to do so .
ISRO will instead use telemetry data on re-entry ,deceleration and return.
In the second phase RLV will be tested without its scramjet engine.
In this phase RLV-TD will be launched to orbit and then de-orbited for a landing on a runway.
In this RLV will be powered by an air breathing scram jet which is being developed under a separate project called "Air Breathing Propulsion Project(ABPP)"
Mission progress: MISSION PROGRESS
In 2006 the Indian Space Research Organisation performed a series of ground tests to demonstrate stable supersonic combustion for nearly 7 seconds with an inlet Mach number of 6
In March 2010, ISRO conducted the flight testing of its new sounding rocket: Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV-D01)
ISRO has tentatively stated the second scramjet engine flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre for March 2016, on board the "Advanced Technology Vehicle" flight 2 (ATV-D02)