Arianespace and ESA’s IXV’s Flight Experiment – Where will it land?

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Sat News has reported that the light payload vehicle Vega, part of the launcher series operated by Arianespace will launch next month with an unconventional mission mandate: a trajectory in sub-orbit by a European spaceplane that is unmanned starting in French Guiana and finishing with a splashdown of the payload in the Pacific Ocean.

Planned to launch on 11 February, the IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) operated by the ESA (European Space Agency) will be lifted by Vega. The vehicle’s development is focused on advanced technology in transport systems of the future and the re-entry technology associated with systems in development. Flight number VV04 – as named by the mission system of numbering operated by Arianespace – will have a flight duration of 100 minutes, and will be flight number four for the launcher since its Spaceport introduction in February 2012.

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