IXV: mastering atmospheric reentry

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Soon, IXV, Europe’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, will be launched into space on a Vega launcher from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. A short but crucial mission to advance Europe’s ambition to return autonomously from space.

More about IXV:
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/IXV

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15 Comments

  1. Another challenge by European technology, via a primary contribution by Alenia Space &ESA. I remember a visit to have an idea of the prototype shield made in France under development and qualifications, in the early 80s. The critic concept of constituents were phenolics, renewables for each flight. Ceramics were the permanent and stable structural component of shape. I lost contacts after. I feel quite optimist!

  2. Just make a compressed heat engine like a microwave or oven connected to powerful battery and solar panels, like the skin of the plane solar panels and like a solar panels umbrella that opens up to charge the battery that would work better for everybody,sombody should of made a space plane like that a long time ago.

  3. cant we use electro magnets to slow the vehicle down before re entry eliminating the amount of drag and heat on the vehicle? i know we cant use fuel to slow it because there is none left once in orbit but what about using batts with electro magnets to slow it down? doesnt the earth have a magnetic field. why dont we use it?

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