ESA space plane blasts off from Kourou, French Guiana

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The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its crewless, wingless Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) from Kourou, French Guiana on Wednesday. The space plane is to conduct a suborbital flight to assess critical systems of shuttles for the ESA's future automated reentry flights. During the descent, the IXV will record data, using its large number of advanced sensors.