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European 'space wedge' tested

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Europe's IXV 'space wedge' performs drop test

A successful "drop test" has been conducted on Europe's experimental re-entry vehicle, the IXV.

A 1:1 scale model was released from an altitude of 3km by a helicopter, and then descended to a splashdown in the Mediterranean on a parachute.

The IXV is a project of the European Space Agency that aims to develop an autonomous atmospheric re-entry system.

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IXV Splash down

ESA’s experimental reentry vehicle passed its milestone descent and landing test on June 19, proving that IXV can be recovered safely after its mission into space. The real vehicle will be launched next year on Vega, Europe’s new small launcher, into a suborbital path, testing new European reentry technologies during its hypersonic and supersonic flight phases.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

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