ROME, January 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
A key milestone for the development of the new Ariane 6 and Vega-C launchers
The qualification test of the P120C solid rocket motor has successfully taken place at the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guyana. The outcome of the test - the second for this engine - is a key step in the development of the new generation European Vega-C and Ariane 6 launchers. Avio, the Italian space leader listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, has played a central role in the development of the P120C.
Giulio Ranzo, Chief Executive Officer of Avio Spa stated: "The successful P120C qualification test is a further key step for the new European Vega C and Ariane 6 European launcher development programmes. Following on from today's tests, we will focus on the Vega C flight campaign beginning by year end. The P120C, the largest monolithic carbon fiber solid propellant engine in the world, is the product of radical technological innovation also leveraging over 30 years of solid propulsion experience from the co-operation between Avio and ArianeGroup."
The P120C weighs approx. 8 tons and has a load capacity of 142 tons of propellant. In the over two minutes of solid propellant combustion time, an average thrust equating to 15 new generation air passenger jet engines can be generated.
The P120C will be used as a booster in configuring the Ariane 6.2 and Ariane 6.4 launchers and will be employed as the first stage of the new Vega-C launcher. When fully operational, Avio expects to produce about 30 engines every year at its industrial facilities in Colleferro (Rome).
Avio is a leading international group engaged in the construction and development of space launchers and solid and liquid propulsion systems. The experience and know-how built up over 50 years puts Avio at the cutting-edge of the space launchers, solid, liquid and cryogenic propulsion and tactical propulsion sector. Avio operates in Italy, France and France Guyana with 5 facilities, employing approx. 850 highly-qualified personnel, of which approx. 30% involved in research and development. Avio is a prime contractor for the Vega programme and a sub-contractor for the Ariane programme, both financed by the European Space Agency (ESA), placing Italy among the limited number of countries capable of producing a complete spacecraft.
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