The first IRDT mission was performed on February 9, 2000, by using
the first Soyuz- Fregat test flight as a piggy-back launch opportunity.
After launch from Baikonur and six orbits, the IRDT flight demonstrator
landed safely and was recovered southwest of the city of Orenburg
near the Russian-Kazakh border.
The flight demonstrator consisted of a 100 kg vehicle, compiling
the two stage inflatable IRDT system including the necessary service
equipment (avionics, tanks, etc.), as well as a sensor package,
temperature and gas sensors for flight performance verification.
After landing the vehicle was recovered for post-flight evaluation. The basic feasibility of this innovative technology was confirmed.
IRDT-2 / 2R
IRDT-2 was launched for its suborbital flight on July 12, 2002 from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea near Murmansk on board a converted Volna SS-N-18 intercontinental ballistic missile. However, due to a failure in the launcher/payload interface, IRDT-2 did not land in the expected nominal area on the Kamshatka peninsula and could not be activated. Further conclusions towards the IRDT system were not possible.
The objective of the second IRDT test flight was to verify the enhanced system concept under representative orbital conditions (7000 m/s entry velocity, -6.9 degrees entry angle). In accordance with the recommendations of the IRDT-1 flight evaluation, certain refinements were implemented, e.g. improvements to the shield design and the internal pressure control and monitoring; introduction of a telemetry system for the landing phase and an enriched sensor package providing the flight evaluation data. The total mass amounted to approx. 140 kg.
The IRDT-2 R reflight was launched in October 2005.
The demonstration missions were performed by a unique program arrangement involving
ESA, Roskosmos, DLR, ISTC/EC, EADS Astrium, Lavochkin
IRDT-2R Mission Profile
IRDT-2 Demo Mission