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SMi Global MilSatCom 2019

Z40 solid rocket motor static test

(14 May 2019 - Avio) The Vega C development program has cleared a significant hurdle on the path towards its Maiden Flight in 2020 : the qualification static test of the Z40 Solid Rocket Motor was successfully completed on May, 7th in Sardinia, Italy.

It was the second functional test required to qualify this new propulsion system.

z40 1

(courtesy: Avio)

Designed and manufactured by Avio, the Colleferro, Rome-based Space Company, the Z40 SRM is the second stage of the Vega C next generation European launcher. Thanks to the new configuration, based on the more powerful P120C first stage and Z40 second stage, the Vega C performance will be increased by 60% compared to the current Vega’s one. This will extend the accessible market up to 90% of the LEO satellites, most of which to be taken to orbit in multiple payload launch thanks to Vega C smart dispensers and adapters.

The 92,9-second test fire demonstrated the ballistic, dynamic and structural requisites of the pre-impregnated carbon fibre booster casing filled with solid propellant in Avio’s Colleferro-Rome facilities. Carried out thanks to more than 40 skilled engineers and technicians, the test allowed to collect data and parameters necessary to simulate the engine in-flight statistics with an approximation very close to the actual flight conditions. It also demonstrated the proper functioning of the new Thruster Vector Control system.

The success of this test marked another important milestone in the roadmap of Vega C before-flight qualification. As of today, Vega C is on track for a Maiden Flight slated in Q1, 2020.