Europe to test wingless ‘space plane’

Paris (AFP) Feb 9, 2015

Europe will launch an experimental “space plane” on Wednesday, a car-sized, wingless vessel whose 100-minute unmanned mission will inform the design of reusable spacecraft of the future.

Reentry is a major challenge for the aerospace industry – as illustrated when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in Earth’s atmosphere in February 2003, killing all seven crew.

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