India has successfully tested its first small space shuttle as part of its efforts to make low-cost reusable spacecraft.

The Indian Space Research Organization says a rocket carrying the shuttle lifted off from a launch pad in southern India on Monday and completed a successful 13-minute test flight.

Space expert Pallava Bagla, who writes for science magazines, said the test paves the way for India to embark on low-cost space missions. He said the United States and some other countries have abandoned the use of winged reusable spacecraft, but India hopes to bring down the cost of access to space by 90 percent by using reusable vehicles.

India hopes to become a player in the multibillion-dollar space launch market, and has successfully placed light satellites into orbit in recent years.