Charge eXchange Recombination Spectroscopy (CXRS) will play a crucial role in the diagnosing of burning plasmas: items like helium ash, transport barriers, impurity content or fuel ratio can all be assessed with CXRS. In fact this is the only direct method to obtain information about the light impurity ions, such as temperature, concentrations and rotation, in the core of the plasma. Two of such systems are foreseen at ITER, one in the upper port plug and one on the equatorial level, both viewing the 100 keV diagnostic H-beam. Challenges for this diagnostic development project are: constructing a mirror close to the plasma able to keep its reflectivity under the extreme bombardment by neutrons, erosion by fast neutrals and deposition of sputtered material, design of an optical labyrinth with well enough neutron shielding, developing spectrometers with a throughput about a factor 100 larger than on present day devices, with a similar or better dispersion, calibration and alignment techniques and last but not least, finding ways to obtain the physics relevant information from the measured complicated spectra in real time. With all these issues in mind, an ITER-CXRS pilot experiment has been developed and became operational on the TEXTOR tokamak, to address some of the above aspects. The results of this show the feasibility and the sensitivity of the ITER system: the simulation code for ITER signal levels could be verified, the sensitivity to the current profile has been tested, the beam emission has been compared to beam attenuation calculations and used to obtain absolute impurity concentrations and a high throughput spectrometer became operational.