Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Watch the launch of the ESA's would-be successor to the Shuttle

The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing to launch its next-generation spaceplane, known as the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle or IXV. The five-metre-long, two-tonne vehicle will be launched on a Vega rocket to a height of 450 kilometres before descending for reentry. The crewless mission will take no longer than 100 minutes but is intended to test, among other things, the craft's protective thermal shells and its multi-stage parachutes.

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