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Vega VV04 fairing during a final internal inspection before encapsulation, on 23 January 2015 at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, VV04, 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.
More about IXV: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/IXV
Connect with IXV on Twitter: twitter.com/esa_ixv