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The IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is being prepared for launch at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, climbing up to 420 km before beginning a long glide back through the atmosphere. In the process, IXV will gather data on reentry conditions to help guide the design of future spaceplanes.