Vega’s Flight VV04 with the IXV spaceplane is followed with interest in Washington, D.C.
Today’s successful Vega Flight VV04 mission with the European IXV spaceplane was literally seen around the world via a live video broadcast – including at Washington, D.C., where a high-level audience gathered at the Italian Embassy.
Clayton Mowry, President of the U.S.-based Arianespace, Inc. subsidiary, welcomed the guests and outlined Arianespace’s role as operator of the lightweight Vega launcher, which successfully deployed the IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) on its suborbital trajectory today.
Mowry noted the Italian Embassy venue for Flight VV04’s video broadcast was highly appropriate, as the country played an important role in this mission. Italy developed the Vega – which is built by prime contractor ELV S.p.A., a company jointly owned by AVIO and the Italian Space Agency – while the IXV payload was produced for the European Space Agency (ESA) by Thales Alenia Space at the company’s Torino facility in Italy.
After Vega’s deployment of the IXV spaceplane during the morning launch, guests at the embassy were briefed by representatives of ESA and Thales Alenia Space on the spaceplane’s objectives to validate European technologies for future atmospheric reentry systems. The event concluded with confirmation that IXV had successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, completing the research flight.