Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prototype of unmanned spaceplane retrieved

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
On June 23, 2014, the ship and crew aiming to recover Europe's unmanned IXV spacecraft in November had a practice run off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. They retrieved a prototype of the suborbital IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, the same model flown last year in a splashdown test off the east coast of Sardinia.

On the 23 June 2014 a prototype of the suborbital IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle was recovered off the coast of Tuscany, Italy in a practice run for the launch of the real spacecraft in November.
Credit: Neri - Livorno (I)

On June 23, 2014, the ship and crew aiming to recover Europe's unmanned IXV spacecraft in November had a practice run off the coast of Tuscany, Italy.

They retrieved a prototype of the suborbital IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, the same model flown last year in a splashdown test off the east coast of Sardinia.

A crane dropped the two-tonne vehicle into the water for the crew to practise the tricky manoeuvres they will use when the real thing splashes down in the Pacific Ocean later this year. The rehearsal even allowed for an upside-down splashdown.

A crew from the Italian company NERI were operating the recovery ship Nos Aries while the prototype was carefully hoisted aboard and into its container. This model, its work done, will now be taken to ESA's Technical Centre in the Netherlands for display.

Launched later this year on ESA's Vega rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, IXV will test technologies and systems for Europe's future autonomous atmospheric reentry vehicles.

Descending on its suborbital path, as if returning from low orbit, IXV will use its body to generate lift for flying, controlled only by aerodynamic flaps and thrusters.

It is packed with new technology to collect information on aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, materials, structures, mechanisms, guidance, navigation, control and avionics.

The experimental flight will end with IXV transmitting its precious information before splashing down into the most remote region of the Pacific, where Nos Aries will be waiting to retrieve it.

Setting off in mid-summer, Nos Aries will leave Italy to cross the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. The specialist crew will board in Panama for the month-long journey through the Panama Canal and Pacific.

Before launch, the ship will release weather balloons to check the wind conditions over the Pacific to provide information on IXV's descent path.

If sea conditions allow the launch to go ahead, Nos Aries will receive the flight data from IXV's 300 sensors during descent and then pick up the beacon signals to pinpoint the craft after splashdown.

Divers on speedboats will approach the floating craft and then stand back as robotic sniffers check for residual propellant fumes. On the all-clear, the recovery cranes will carefully lift IXV to safety before the fuel tank is cleaned out for the journey home to Europe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Prototype of unmanned spaceplane retrieved." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132453.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2014, June 25). Prototype of unmanned spaceplane retrieved. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132453.htm
European Space Agency. "Prototype of unmanned spaceplane retrieved." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625132453.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins