Europe's prototype space plane splashed down in the Pacific on schedule Wednesday after a 100-minute flight to test key re-entry technologies, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.
Europe said it had launched a prototype space plane Wednesday in a strategy to join an elite club able to both launch a spacecraft and return it safely to Earth.
Engineers were preparing for the launch Wednesday of a "space plane" that Europe hopes will help it master a key phase in orbital flight—the ability to return to Earth.
Another two Galileo satellites have touched down in French Guiana ready to take their place in Europe's satellite navigation constellation.
ESA's Vega rocket, with IXV on top, now awaits its fourth flight with liftoff on 11 February at 13:00 GMT (14:00 CET) from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
An Ariane 5 has lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.
A navigation satellite sent astray by a mislaunch in August, has sent a signal from its faulty orbit, and may yet prove useful, the European Space Agency (ESA) said Tuesday.
After a two-year debate sparked by the emergence of low-cost competition, European space nations on Tuesday are likely to back plans to build a new rocket, the Ariane 6, say sources.
Europe said Friday it was postponing the launch next month of its first-ever "space plane" to give scientists time to finetune the mission's flight plan.
An Ariane 5 has lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites, Intelsat-30/DLA-1 and Arsat-1, into their planned orbits.