Europe's IXV Mini-Space Shuttle Aces Its First Test Flight

February 11, 2015 4:49 PM

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A European mini-space shuttle prototype launched into space on Wednesday and then zoomed back to Earth in a daring test of innovative technologies for future reusable spacecraft.

The European Space Agency's car-sized Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, or IXV, blasted off atop a Vega rocket from the European Spaceport in French Guiana at 8:40 a.m. ET Wednesday. The craft came back to Earth about 100 minutes later, making a parachute-assisted splashdown in the middle of the Pa...

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