Watch IXV launch

skomedal

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ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is ready for its launch and reentry mission on 11 February. The launch is scheduled for 13:00 GMT (14:00 CET) atop a Vega rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Streaming starts at 12:45 GMT (13:45 CET)

This IXV mission will test cutting-edge system and technology aspects to provide Europe with an independent reentry capability, and a building block for reusable space transportation systems.

After separating from Vega 320 km above Earth, the five-metre-long, two-tonne vehicle will climb to a height of around 450 km and then descend for reentry, recording a vast amount of data from a large number of conventional and advanced sensors.

After manoeuvring to decelerate from hypersonic to supersonic speeds, IXV will deploy a multistage parachute to slow the descent further. Flotation balloons will keep it afloat after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, where it will be recovered by a ship for detailed analysis.

The entire flight will last about 100 minutes.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/IXV/Watch_IXV_launch

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skomedal

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Countdown on temporary hold ATM:eek:

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skomedal

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Successful test flight:)

The IXV spaceplane lifted off at 13:40 GMT (14:40 CET, 10:40 local time) on 11 February from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana atop a Vega rocket. It separated from Vega at an altitude of 348 km and continued up to 413 km. Reentering from this suborbital path, it recorded a vast amount of data from more than 300 advanced and conventional sensors.

As it descended, the five-metre-long, two-tonne craft manoeuvred to decelerate from hypersonic to supersonic speed. The entry speed of 7.5 km/s at an altitude of 120 km created the same conditions as those for a vehicle returning from low Earth orbit.

IXV glided through the atmosphere before parachutes deployed to slow the descent further for a safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.


Full story here
http://www.esa.int/For_Media/Press_Releases/ESA_experimental_spaceplane_completes_research_flight

Pity the launch was marred by clouds.:-doh


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