ESA’s IXV unmanned spaceplane is installed inside Vega’s protective fairing at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle will be launched into a suborbital trajectory and return to Earth as though from a low-orbit mission. For the first time, it will test and qualify European critical reentry technologies in hypersonic flight, descend by parachute and land in the Pacific Ocean to await recovery and analysis.
For more about IXV visit: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/IXV
Connect with IXV on Twitter: twitter.com/esa_ixv