European eXPErimental Re-entry Test-bed (EXPERT) is a European Space Agency aerothermodynamics research programme. It was planned that vehicle will be launched on a Russian Volna launch vehicle and will provide knowledge and experience in the design and development of re-entry vehicles.[1] As of 2012, one element in a European Space Agency push to develop vehicles capable of re-entry has been pushed back until at least 2013 as the agency seeks a launch alternative to the Russian submarine-launched Volna rocket which was withdrawn.[2] One of its main goals was to test materials for ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), an unmanned, delta-winged plane launched in 2015 aboard ESA's new Vega small-satellite launcher.[3] Currently EXPERT remains in storage conditions in Turin.[4]

EXPERT Mission objectives

According to an ESA-ESTEC paper,[5] the EXPERT program has the following goals:


  1. ^ "Space cone to acquire expert data". July 21, 2009 – via
  2. ^ Thisdell, Dan (June 25, 2012). "ESA re-entry test needs new budget after Russian pull-out".
  3. ^ "European Re-entry Capsule Grounded After Russia Withdraws Launch Offer". June 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "ESA Bulletin 161 (1st quarter 2015)" (PDF). ESA Bulletin. ESA: 79. 2015. ISSN 0376-4265. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  5. ^ "European Experimental Re-Entry Testbed EXPERT: Qualification of Payloads for Flight" (PDF).