IXV separation test


ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, IXV, is put to the test at ESA’s technical centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands. During the actual flight, at an altitude of 320 km, a pyrotechnic device will fire to open a clamp band for springs to push IXV away from the upper stage. This test shows mission planners that it can withstand the mechanical shock of the pyrotechnic detonation, mimicking the moment the craft separates from the Vega rocket.

To be launched on Vega in early November 2014, IXV will test in flight the technologies and critical systems for Europe’s future automated re-entry vehicles returning from low orbit.

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  1. The Americans would have set this video to rock music and added a bunch of lens flares. I love how ESA uses upbeat, plinky guitar music instead. It makes science seem happy, not a product of the US war machine.

  2. Hehehe, I like how you made it look super-easy. Feels like I could just come in and sit there testing stuff with you guys. Well done 🙂 Sign that everything is on it's way to success!

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