Europe's Prototype Spaceplane Nails Test Flight

February 11, 2015 6:45 PM

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About 100 minutes after blasting off aboard a Vega rocket Wednesday, the European Space Agency’s prototype spaceplane, called the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, or IXV, made a parachute descent back to Earth, completing a test flight aimed at developing technologies for reusable spaceships and atmospheric re-entry.

“This was a short mission with big impact,” IXV project manager Giorgio Tumino said in a statement.

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