Arianespace’s future ambitions in the launch services market will be focused on two new launch vehicles. The Ariane 6 and Vega-C rockets will be tasked with covering a multitude of payload requirements and will evolve together via commonality of hardware. Vega-C is set to conduct her maiden flight in 2020 and is currently in the qualification phase. The first stage booster of Vega-C will also become the strap-on boosters for Ariane 6 as the two rockets facilitate independent European access to space.
Preparations for Vega-C’s debut moved into the qualification phase following a successful critical design review in March.
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This latest phase will test and verify the design and manufacturing processes, assembly and flight hardware and software, and associated ground support systems.
The ArianeGroup has successfully test-fired its second P120C solid rocket motor, a step forward toward initial launches of the Vega-C light satellite launcher and the Ariane 6 heavy satellite launcher, the latter being the launcher that will ultimately replace the long-serving and successful Ariane 5 launch vehicle.
The P120C first stage solid was tested on the BEAP test stand at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, ...