ATV-5: The Last of its Kind
Feb15

ATV-5: The Last of its Kind

A trail of fire in the night sky marked the end of ESA’s ATV program. On February 15, 2015 the last ATV, ATV-5 undocked from the International Space Station and started deorbiting. Loaded with waste from the ISS it made its way back towards the atmosphere, where it burned out over the Pacific Ocean. This was the last ATV made by ESA. It marks the end of a space program, which was already conceived in 1987 to serve for an international...

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IXV Test: Success!
Feb11

IXV Test: Success!

The Americans did it with the space shuttle. Now we did it with the IXV. On February 11, 2015 a Vega rocket brought the first IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) to space, where it deorbited and reentered the atmosphere. Starting at hypersonic speeds the IXV slowed down to supersonic speeds, after which it glided through the atmosphere. It was controlled by a pair of flaperon-like tails. Later it deployed parachutes, to slow down...

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