The IXV is a re-entry vehicle intended to validate European reusable launchers.
It uses a lifting body arrangement with no wings of any sort; it uses two moveable flaps to control its re-entry flight.
Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the design consolidation, development and integration of the vehicle and will lead a consortium formed by major European companies, research centres and universities.
The vehicle itself is scheduled to be delivered to ESA by the end of 2012.
It will be launched in 2012 from Europe’s spaceport at Kourou,
After re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and being slowed down by air drag, the IXV will descend by parachute and land in the