ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, IXV, is put to the test at ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands. It has to withstand extreme vibrations during liftoff, so the spacecraft is shaken at different frequencies and for various lengths of time to ensure its technical and structural integrity throughout the mission.
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.
IXV separation test
Measuring ESA’s IXV spaceplane
IXV ready for liftoff
Replay of Vega liftoff VV04 with IXV
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