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Category: Tech

Europeans Launching a Prototype Wingless Spacecraft on 2013

Written on June 22, 2011 by Lulu

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Thales Alenia Space of European Space Agency is developing a wingless spacecraft that is capable of transporting humans to space station, penciled to take off by 2013.

The declared that they have plans to launch a privately built snub-nosed space bullet, which has a similarity on a wingless, truncated space shuttle. will be the one to develop the said spacecraft and will launch it within the next two years.

The , also known as , is a two-ton “lifting body” with two moving flaps that will control the spacecraft movement. It will be launched with an vega rocket that can reach a speed of 16,000 miles per hour and 280 miles in altitude. After exploring the space, the spacecraft will return to Earth by means of its flaps and parachute to a splash landing in the Pacific Ocean.

The IXV is more maneuverable and more precise than previous reusable spacecraft designs according to ESA. Its also a departure from the Skylon space plane, a spacecraft that takes off and lands like an airplane with an on-board rocket that fires up at high altitudes.

ESA announced that they have an agreement with Thales Alenia Space Italia in December 2009 to develop the said technology. At this period of time, the IXV is only a test vehicle that is meant to display European designed heat shields and other technologies. But these technologies can indicate the outcome of the ESA shuttle that will be capable of transferring crews to the International Space Station or to other destinations in space.

The launch is being planned to take place on 2013, lifting off from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana.

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