Author Topic: ESA - Vega Updates (Vega, Vega-C, Vega-E, etc. 2005 and forward)  (Read 261638 times)

Offline bolun

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SIGNED A EURO 118.8 MILLION CONTRACT WITH ESA FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF VEGA E

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The heart of the development of Vega E is the new third stage cryogenic engine M10, which will be propelled with liquid oxygen and methane, and that will also help to improve the environmental footprint of the launcher.

“This contract is a tangible sign of the great trust that the European Space Agency, along with its member states and the Italian Space Agency, puts into Avio and its capabilities - stated Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio. These funds are very important as we get closer to the Maiden Flight of Vega C but we keep looking to the future beyond and to work on Vega E, which will be even more competitive with also a reduced environmental footprint. Indeed, by the end of the year we will be testing the M10 LOX-Methane engine in our new and completed Space Propulsion Test Facility in Sardinia.”

Offline bolun

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INAUGURATED THE SPTF, NEW POLE OF TECHNOLOGICAL EXCELLENCE INTENDED FOR SPACE ACTIVITIES AND FINANCED BY AVIO IN COLLABORATION WITH MISE AND THE SARDINIA REGION

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With the traditional ribbon cutting, the new industrial plant was officially inaugurated and, in particular, the LRE (Liquid Rocket Engine) test bench intended for the execution of tests for the development and qualification of new generation space engines, a low environmental impact (so-called green) based on cryogenic liquid oxygen (LOx) and liquid methane (LNG) propellants. 

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Right here at the SPTF inaugurated today, by the end of the year we will test the new third cryogenic liquid oxygen-methane upper stage (M10) thanks to which the Vega E will not only be more flexible, convenient and performing but also greener. For the development of this new launcher, we recently signed a contract worth 118.8 million euros with ESA

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With the inauguration of the LRE test bench, the first phase of the SPTF project ends, which will now continue with a plant for the production of carbon-carbon components. In parallel and as an integral part of the SPTF Project, the engineering activities will take place at the AVIO headquarters in Sardinia, in Villaputzu.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

One question that I have not seen a clear statement anywhere: is the "standard" Vega going to be phased out after Vega C starts flying? If so how many are left?
Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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I don't know if it's been officially stated, now you mention it, but there is no reason to keep Vega around once Vega-C is up an running, so I imagine it'll be phased out once Vega-C is launching successfully.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2021 12:01 pm by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline GWR64

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One question that I have not seen a clear statement anywhere: is the "standard" Vega going to be phased out after Vega C starts flying? If so how many are left?

After the Vega VV20 launch and the following Vega-C maiden flight, there should be 2 standard Vega left.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/09/28/arianespace-procures-first-batch-of-upgraded-vega-c-rockets-preps-for-ariane-6-order/

Offline bolun

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ESA AND AVIO SIGNED A CONTRACT TO ADVANCE VEGA C COMPETITIVENESS

ESA’s Vega C launch vehicle will fly in the second quarter of 2022 offering more performance to all orbits and extended mission flexibility at a similar cost to the current Vega. A new contract aims to widen these mission capabilities to capture new opportunities and satisfy emerging market needs to 2027.

The ESA–Avio contract is worth €51 million over two and a half years. The signature event in Paris on 15 December was attended by Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation, and Maurizio Cutroni, Avio’s CCO, on behalf of Guilio Ranzo, CEO at Avio.

“ESA reaches forwards to strengthen future access to space for Europe. This contract for Vega C contributes to enhance flexibility of the services to the customer and ensures increased competitiveness of our developments,” said Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Space Transportation at ESA.

Under this contract, Avio as prime contractor to ESA for the Vega and Vega C launcher systems will work with industrial partners to put into action a series of improvements intended to enable Vega C to meet a wider range of market needs.

These developments will also reduce launch service costs and comply with the payload allocation policy approved by the ESA Council, through the achievement, in the short term, of three major high-level objectives.

The activities are intended to reduce the main production and operation tasks thereby decreasing the launcher system cost by 10% and therefore the Vega C launch service cost. In particular, it is planned to cut manufacturing costs for mechanical subsystems and components as well as optimise mission preparation and the launch campaign duration.

A wider range of missions will be possible by increasing the launch system performance margins giving higher mission flexibility, still complementary to the Ariane 6 launch system, to cope with specific missions needs and constraints.

Increasing versatility of the Vega C launch system services is expected by offering ad-hoc launch services solutions based on a portfolio of available products, including small spacecraft mission services and dual-launch services.

“Avio and ESA have identified and consolidated areas to further increase Vega C competitiveness during the lead up to commercial exploitation. I thank supporting Member States, the Italian Space Agency and our partners for their trust in Avio,” said Maurizio Cutroni, Chief Commercial Officer at Avio.

https://www.avio.com/news-events/esa-and-avio-signed-contract-advance-vega-c-competitiveness

ESA contract to advance Vega-C competitiveness

https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/Vega/ESA_contract_to_advance_Vega-C_competitiveness

Offline bolun

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NEW LAUNCH SERVICE CONTRACTS FOR VEGA C AND NEW DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

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In December 2021 Avio completed the full integration of the new M10 Lox-methane upper stage engine system which will power Vega E, whose maiden flight is expected in 2026. The engine has now been transferred to Avio’s SPTF (Space Propulsion Test Facility) in Sardinia to start test campaigns as early as February 2022. This engine represents a breakthrough in performance and environmental suitability for upper stage propulsion systems and represents an important building block for Avio’s future technology roadmap. In 2022 one additional test engine will be integrated to extend the test campaign envelope.

Offline bolun

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One question that I have not seen a clear statement anywhere: is the "standard" Vega going to be phased out after Vega C starts flying? If so how many are left?

After the Vega VV20 launch and the following Vega-C maiden flight, there should be 2 standard Vega left.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/09/28/arianespace-procures-first-batch-of-upgraded-vega-c-rockets-preps-for-ariane-6-order/

Yes, according to this NSF article (January 26, 2022) there are 2 "standard" Vega rockets.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/01/vega-c-update/

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Following its first flight no earlier than April 2022, Vega-C has a further six scheduled missions in 2022 alone. It will then share the ELV launchpad at French Guiana twice in 2023 for the fly-out of the remaining two original Vega rockets.

Offline bolun

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Vega, Vega-C and Vega-E

Small, versatile, and efficient — the Vega launch system is Europe’s way of launching light satellites to multiple orbits in a single launch to respond to different market opportunities.

Related article: ESA’s Vega rocket marks ten years with countdown to more powerful successor

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2022/01/Vega_Vega-C_and_Vega-E

Image credit: ESA

Offline bolun

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Offline bolun

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ESA-developed P120C solid rocket motor enters production

31/03/2022

ESA’s Ariane 6 and Vega-C will soon join the family of launch vehicles operating from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana to guarantee more opportunities for Europe to reach space. The P120C motor, which will power both Ariane 6 and Vega-C, will soon come into operations with the Vega-C inaugural flight.

The ‘C’ stands for ‘common’ as P120C will be used as the first stage of Vega-C and two or four will be used as strap-on boosters for Ariane 6. To successfully develop a motor for use on two very different launch vehicles is a pivotal achievement of European industry. This strategy reduced development costs, benefits from economies of scale, and creates an opportunity for Europe to scale up production.

The P120C motor is ESA’s new solid propulsion workhorse. The P120C will burn for about 130 s using 142 t of fuel to deliver a liftoff thrust of about 4500 kN. It was developed by Europropulsion, which is owned jointly by Avio and ArianeGroup.

P120C is 13.5 m long and 3.4 m in diameter. Its 25 cm-thick monolithic casing is made using carbon composite material at Avio in Italy. ArianeGroup in France developed the advanced P120C nozzle, while Nammo in Norway provided the igniter. Efficient production methods have shortened production cycles and optimised costs.

Increased power for increased competitiveness with P120C+

Plans for a more powerful version of this motor, called the P120C+, are already in motion. The increased performance and competitiveness will better respond to evolving institutional and commercial demand requiring versatility improvements.

With an extra 14 t of solid propellant in a casing that is extended by about one meter, the P120C+ enables extra payload capacity. This would make the Ariane 6 and Vega-C vehicles more competitive and versatile, extending the range of mission opportunities. The new motor would replace the P120C for use on both Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

The P120C+ plan will be part of proposals submitted for consideration at the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in 2022.

“The P120C solid rocket motor will allow both Ariane 6 and Vega-C to lift off from Earth. With P120C+ we will further improve the launch capability and cost efficiency of both launch vehicles, enhancing the launch services for European institutional missions” commented Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA Director of Space Transportation.

https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/ESA-developed_P120C_solid_rocket_motor_enters_production

Offline Rondaz

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The ESA-developed P120C solid rocket motor enters production. ESA’s new solid propulsion workhorse will power both Ariane 6 and Vega-C.

https://twitter.com/esa/status/1509470271673098243

Offline baldusi

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According to Space News and this article ESA and Ariane are going forward with the P120C+ solids. This will have more propellant and allow 2 additional tonnes to LEO on Ariane 64. It will also increase performance for Vega.

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“ Plans for a more powerful version of this engine, called P120C+, are already underway ,” says the European Space Agency. “ With an additional 14 t of solid propellant in a case that is approximately one meter longer, the P120C+ allows for a larger payload ”.

Offline bolun

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SUCCESSFUL FIRING OF THE NEW M10 ENGINE FOR VEGA E

Colleferro, 6 May 2022 – The new M10 oxygen/methane engine for Vega E was successfully tested yesterday at Avio's new Space Propulsion Test Facility (SPTF) at the Salto di Quirra range in Sardinia. The engine developed by Avio, with a thrust class of 10 tons, is the first of its kind to be successfully tested in Europe. The M10 represents, in all intents and purposes, a new-generation green engine, realised with extensive use of additive layer manufacturing (ALM) technologies. The M10 engine is part of the development of the Vega E launcher, a project coordinated by ESA (European Space Agency) aimed at qualifying the successor of Vega C starting from 2026.

The project, backed by ESA, has been supported from the start by the Italian Government and in particular by the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, Vittorio Colao, in view of the positive effects in terms of innovation and sustainability at the National and European level.

The development of M10 started a few years ago with an initial cooperation between Avio and the Italian Space Agency, through which some key technologies were developed. The program was then established within the European Space Agency as a prospective solution for the upper stage of Vega E.

Vega E will have a higher performance than Vega C, with increased flexibility and versatility at reduced costs. Unlike Vega and Vega C, Vega E will have a three-stage configuration. The first two, P120C and Zefiro 40, will be the same as the Vega C. The new M10 engine, developed and built by Avio in Colleferro with the support of other European companies, will equip the last stage of the future Vega E launcher. The engine will be throttleable and re-startable to enable multiple orbital manoeuvres; the combination of oxygen and liquid methane will also make it a more environmentally sustainable engine.

The LRE test facility at Perdasdefogu in Sardinia, a new technological hub created by AVIO, was built in record time for the testing of cryogenic engines, thanks to the successful cooperation with the local Public Administrations and the Ministry of Economic Development in the context of a cooperation between the Italian Defence Chief of Staff, the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff and Avio. With the new M10 engine, Avio is one of the few global players that possesses the innovative cryogenic methane engine technology for space applications. Thanks to this technology, it will be possible to further develop the product range and guarantee an independent access to Space for Europe in the long-term future.

Giulio Ranzo, Avio's CEO, said: "The successful test of the M10 engine represents a historic moment for our Company. Avio demonstrates that it has the most innovative and sustainable technology available for the cryogenic propulsion of future launchers. Starting from this technological element, Avio will be able to develop a new generation of particularly efficient and competitive products. I congratulate the Avio and ESA teams for the quality of the work done to reach this first important milestone".

https://www.avio.com/press-release/successful-firing-new-m10-engine-vega

Offline bolun

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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Good news that; Avio successfully conducted the first test of the M10 Demonstration motor on the SPTF LRE test stand. This engine didn't have the full vacuum optimized nozzle (because it's static fired at sea level).
According to the EUCASS2019-0315; they are going to use four demonstrator motors and two qualification motors to certify the M10 engine for use on Vega E. ESA (mainly Italy) funded this development (Vega E) with 118.8mln. The M10 engine development will likely take place between 2022 and 2025.

To me it's odd that the M10 engine development will take until 2025. While ISAR Aerospace claims to develop the quite similar Aquilla engine in 2022.
Both are new engines that required new test stands to be developed and build.
What is determining the difference in the duration of these two engine developments?
Is the M10 development very conservative? Low risk on Vega E development, because Vega C is (should be) available.
Is the Aquilla engine development very risky/ using optimistic assumptions? (ASAP to market, thus unrealistic schedule)
Does Aquilla have a technological heritage that makes it's development much easier/faster?
Is this the difference between legacy and start-up approach?
We shall see how both engine developments work out in real life.

Does any one think a sea-level optimized M10 would be nice for a first stage. A Ř2.4m multi engine stage that can launch the VUS upper-stage; so there is a replacement for Vega?
Solids are another possible approach (~P50-[Z40-]VUS).
All could launch from ELV (@CSG), when LOx LNG propellent loading is facilitated there. (~10mT or ~60mT)

M10 is the first and most likely smallest engine that will be tested on SPTF LRE.
I think they should develop the GOx-GCH4 spark torch igniter and GOx / GCH4 pressurization. (and a third thing I don't want to write down here)
« Last Edit: 05/08/2022 01:32 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline bolun

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https://twitter.com/Avio_Group/status/1529837447290490880

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Hot stuff! 🔥
Success for the second firing of AVIO’s #M10 liquid oxygen/methane engine that will be used for future #VegaE. A bit longer firing (30sec) allowed to confirm behavior as expected.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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How Italy distroted Europes commercial microlauncher market!
« Reply #317 on: 06/29/2022 08:42 pm »
Spacenews article: Avio gets pandemic recovery funds to develop launchers for the 2030s.

My summery Avio got 340mln to develop a microlauncher that uses the M10 engine and to develop the M60 (~600kN LOx LNG) engine.
This funding comes from the EU pandemic recovery funds.
Defacto this is payed by northern Europe, aka Germany.
This is really unfair competition. And this will destroy private I vestments in launcher technologies.
German companies ISAR Aerospace (Airbus Ventures) and RFA (OHB) both got 10mln for the initial two launches of their microlaunchers from  ESA Boost! (German funding) they require a lot of pri ate investments to be able to provide the launch services.

And Avio gets full government funding (collected by German taxpayers) to do the same. This is really bad. And it makes me really mad and sad.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2022 08:43 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline GWR64

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Spacenews article: Avio gets pandemic recovery funds to develop launchers for the 2030s.
...
I deleted everything. I tried to answer, but it was not possible to write a politically correct text.
maybe I can carefully leave: TARANIS, SEOSAT-Ingenio, Vega-C year ...
no smiley
« Last Edit: 07/04/2022 07:51 pm by GWR64 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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I just realize this is the Vega Update topic. Sorry for trying to start the discussion here.
Let's also share the pressrelease by Avio:
"NEXT GEN EU" CONTRACTS FUNDED WITH 340M EURO AT COMPLETION SIGNED BY AVIO FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW GREEN LIQUID PROPULSION LAUNCHERS
I'll paraphrase some things from the pressrelease:
ESA is Contracting Authority with oversight of Italian government and Italian space agency.
€217.5mln is spent on an in-flight demonstration of a microlauncher with two LOx Methane stages.
Another 120mln will be spend on the development of an higher thrust engine (with ~6x M10 thrust). 
Only ~€11mln funding was approved, for initial work orders the next couple of months. 
Avio started hiring 150 additional staff from beginning 2022.

I'll edit in a link to a post I'll write on the discussion topic.

Let's also add the two other contracts Avio got.
€118,8 mln for Vega E; M10 engine and VUS upperstage development. (On the SPTF test bench
€ 51mln spend over 2.5years to advance Vega-C competitiveness /ESA

« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 08:55 am by Rik ISS-fan »

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