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  ESA successfully orbits, lands mini-shuttleFeb 11, 2015 11:38 PM PST | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Europe's mini-space shuttle returns (BBC) covers yesterday's launch, orbit, and landing of the European Space Agency's IXV ("Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle"), an unmanned, "robotically controlled" space ship that looks something like NASA's old Space Shuttle, except that it doesn't need a cockpit and measures just 5 meters in length! A Vega rocket sent it into orbit, and it flew/parachuted down for a safe splashdown in the ocean. This was mainly a test of the re-entry and landing, with which Europe's space agencies have relatively little experience. The ESA's follow-up ship to the now-successful, "Italian-led" IXV will be called Pride, and it sounds like it will be another, more advanced robotic test shuttle, perhaps meant to explore complex maneuvers such as in-orbit satellite repairs.
 
 
 
 
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