Space, the motor for the future European launchers successfully tested
The P120C motor, the world’s largest solid-propellant motor that will be used on the next generation of European launchers Vega-C and Ariane 6, was successfully tested in Kourou, at the European Space Centre in French Guiana.
Built in Colleferro by the Italian company Avio, P120C is entirely made of carbon fibre, weighs around 8 tons and has a propellant mass of 142 tons. It can generate an average thrust that is comparable to that of 15 next-generation passenger aircraft engines.
“The successful test of P120C is a fundamental step in the development of the future European launchers, Vega C and Ariane 6, in view of the inaugural flights, scheduled respectively in 2019 and 2020”, commented Giulio Ranzo, CEO at Avio.
P120C is the first motor of a family that will equip the next generation of European launchers that will allow Europe to continue to have independent access to space. At full capacity, the Avio facility in Colleferro is expected to produce 35 motors a year.