Re-entry is the make or break moment for spacecraft. It’s the time when satellites burn up and astronauts hold on for the ride of their lives. A new ESA spacecraft, called IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, will be launched into space in November 2014 in a bid to feed precious new data to engineers as they try to master the difficult transition between space and planet Earth. In this episode of Space, IXV programme manager Giorgio Tumino shows us around the spacecraft, while rarely-seen archive footage brings the heat, drama and danger of re-entry to life.
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