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Sledgstone

ESA's eXperimental Vehicle

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http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=SP_081014_esa_ixv

ESA’s new Vega rocket to loft Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle by 2013, testing new systems and technologies for atmospheric re-entry. Credit: ESA

Click the link to see the video of the new craft. Is it just me or does this seem too overly-complicated. The entire setup separates 5 times. O_O The fact that the main pod itself is contained within two shielded pieces makes sense tho. That way no possible damage happens to the pod during the initial launch. But I don't see how theres any kind of payload capacity in the setup.


gallery_1_23_1357354444_252.jpg

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There's been a push at NASA to return to the capsule style for safety reasons but to be realistic these things go up carrying a big payload (how to accommodate that in capsule design) and all of these multi million dollar parts need to be retrieved and reused.


                                               gallery_3_22_21209.jpg

                                               Look at the flowers

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