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Test success for Ariane 6, Vega-C rocket motor
P120C rocket motor on test stand. © ESA

Test success for Ariane 6, Vega-C rocket motor

The all-new P120C solid rocket motor for Ariane 6 and Vega-C was successfully tested for the second time on 28th January.

The P120C solid rocket motor (SRM) for Ariane 6 and Vega-C was successfully tested for the second time on 28th January at the European Spaceport in French Guiana, on the BEAP test bench for solid rocket motors operated by the French space agency CNES.

The 135-second test firing is seen as a major step in the development of the future European launchers, Ariane 6 and Vega-C. The launch campaign for the first Vega-C flight will begin before the end of this year, and the maiden flight of Ariane 6 is scheduled for 2020.

Development of the all-new solid rocket motor is proceeding according to schedule. The first test firing was successfully carried out on 16th July 2018 on the same BEAP test bench at the European Spaceport.

The P120C, co-developed by ArianeGroup and Avio on behalf of their 50/50 joint venture Europropulsion, is the world’s largest monolithic carbon fibre SRM. It is loaded with 142t of propellant.

One further test stand firing is planned to qualify this motor before the first flight of Ariane 6.

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