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The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) flight model during the last preparations, on 20 June 2014, at Thales Alenia Space, Torino, Italy, before being delivered to ESA’s ESTEC center in the Netherlands, where it will undergo final testing.
It will be launched by ESA in 2014 on Vega, Europe’s new small launcher, into a suborbital path, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. It will reenter the atmosphere as if from a low-orbit mission, testing new European reentry technologies during its hypersonic and supersonic flight phases.