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Vega VV04 carrying ESA's experimental spaceplane, IXV, lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 11 February 2015.
IXV will be released at 320 km and will then coast 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.