ESA´s Experimental Vehicle succesfully trained to return from space

While we are busy preparing for Space Elevator research, rocket science is not asleep: the European Space Agency launched their Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) from the spaceport Kourou in French Guiana.

The flight is part of the search for new means to deliver astronauts and cargo to orbit and make reusable space transport vehicles happen.

The vehicle’s entry speed was 7.5 km/s and  it separated from the Vega rocket at an altitude of 340 km and continued up to 412 km, after which it descended and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean just west of the Galapagos islands – returning conditions were the same as if IXV had come down from low Earth orbit.

Click the video below to see a time lapse of the launch preparations.



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