ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) Launch Postponed

©ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG - P.Baudon

The IXV - Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle.

Arianespace announced today that the European Space Agency (ESA) in conjunction with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) have postponed the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) launch scheduled for November 18.

The reason given is the need to do additional flight trajectory analyses after concern over the initial trajectory was raised. No new launch date has been set.

The IXV was built by Thales Alenia Space for ESA and is designed as an atmospheric reentry demonstrator which will flight test technologies and systems for Europe's future automated reentry systems.

Earlier this week the Arianespace was completing pre-launch checkout process for the IXV and was being readied for fuelling.

According to ESA the "research and industrial community will have an opportunity to use the data collected by IXV for progress in atmospheric reentry, oriented towards transportation systems with applications in exploration, science, Earth observation, microgravity and clean space."

The IXV will be launched on ESA's Vega launcher from Kourou in French Guiana. The mission with IXV is designated Flight VV04 in Arianespace's numbering system, signifying the launcher's fourth mission to be performed from the Kourou spaceport.

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