Image Credit: ESA / Pioneer Aerospace

ESA Re-Entry Module Splashdown Test Scheduled For Q1 2013

November 10, 2012

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) re-entry module will participate in a full-space splashdown in early 2013, the organization announced on Friday.

The parachute drop test is one of a series of descent and landing tests that the IXV will complete in preparation for its inaugural launch, which is currently scheduled to take place in 2014, the ESA explained.

“The ambition for a spacecraft to return autonomously from low orbit is a cornerstone for a wide range of space applications, including space transportation, exploration and robotic servicing of space infrastructure,” they said in a statement. “IXV will achieve this goal. More maneuverable and able to make precise landings, it is the ‘intermediate’ element of Europe’s path to future developments with limited risks.”

IXV will be launched into a suborbital trajectory from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana. The vehicle will be carried into space onboard a small Vega rocket and will return to Earth as if it were coming back from a low-orbit mission, the agency said. It will be the first time that Europe’s critical re-entry technology will be tested in hypersonic flight.

Read more: ESA Schedules Re-Entry Module Test – Space News – redOrbit.

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