Polaris Spaceplanes Completes MIRA-Light Prototype Flight Tests

Polaris Spaceplanes, a German aerospace company, has successfully completed a 15-flight test campaign of its MIRA-Light prototype spaceplane. The test-flights took place over the course of three days, between Aug. 22 and Sep. 8, and were meant to demonstrate the vehicle's aerodynamics and flight control systems in preparation for a larger prototype the company plans to equip with a linear aerospike rocket engine. MIRA-Light measures just 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) long, and flies using four electric fans. For 10 of MIRA-Light’s 15 flights, the mini-spaceplane was equipped with a mock aerospike engine to simulate its impact on vehicle performance. In total, the prototype accumulated about 40 total minutes of flight time, according to a report from European Spaceflight.  Engineers at Polaris Spaceplanes plan to use data collected during the MIRA-Light flights to move forward with a scaled-up, larger MIRA vehicle, which measures nearly 14 feet (4.25 meters). MIRA will be equipped with an actual linear aerospike engine for testing of the vehicle's integrated flight systems. POLARIS is expected to begin testing the larger vehicle before the end of the year. Watch a video here, and read details at Space.com