IXV ablative TPS design involved several aspects of the engineering world. It was a multidisciplinary program that covered various fields, from very peculiar numerical simulations such as those on aerothermodynamics or dynamic environment, to material science problems to find the correct materials to fulfill the very demanding requirements, to technological difficulties to perform integration of hundreds of parts with required precision of a few tenth’s of a millimeter.
All these aspects were managed through the integrated work of several teams involved in the project and under the technical coordination of Thales Alenia Space Italy and ESA. The result was a flawless flight performed on the 11th of February 2015. Now the effort will be in reviewing the huge amount of flight data in order to verify the correctness of the calculation models and technological choices.