10 Images of ESA’s IXV Mini-Shuttle: Blasting off in February 2015

ESA’s mini shuttle is all set to launch its flight and reentry mission. With this development, Europe will set strong foundation for innovative technology that would help future reentry missions for astronauts as well as other spatial bodies.

The test flight is scheduled to be held on February 11. The entire operation would last for about 100 minutes testing the critical systems using 300 embedded sensors.

Following are some of the images of the ESA’s space taxi, as they call it.

1) IXV during integration at Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space, Rorino

2) IXV during the last preparations

2_IXV_during_the_last_preparations

3) Cut open view of Vega VV04 carrying IXV

IXV Artist's view

4) Studded with 300 sensors the prototype IXV left will collect data on craft’s handling and thermodynamics

4_studded_with_300_sensors_the_prototype_IXV_will_collect_data_on_craft_handling_n_thermodynamics

5) Prototype IXV fairing separation

5_prototype_IXV_fairing_separation

6) IXV ready for launch

VV04 Groupe IXV au S1B le 18/10/2014

7) IXV installed on its payload adapter

7_IXV_installed_on_its_payload_adapter

8) Artist’s view of the IXV mission

IXV Artist's view

9) IXV will be launched into a suborbital path by a Vega rocket

9_IXV_will_be_launched_into_a_suborbital_path_by_a_Vega_rocket

10) IXV prototype hoisted onto ship

10_IXV_prototype_hoisted_onto_ship_

Source: ESA Space in Images

About Pooja Kashyap

A CPD certified Fitness Trainer, Pooja also likes to spend time reading and blogging the latest research and discoveries in science and how technology is shaping the world. Besides writing, she enjoys reviewing books and taking interviews of creative/innovative people. Currently, she is located in Noida, India, where she actively participates in marathons as well. She is also on Quora l Twitter and LinkedIn.