Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Handout . / Reuters

The largest-ever solid rocket engine is ready for its first static fire

It's the P120c, and it will be used by the ESA on the Vega and Ariane 6.
313 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Handout . / Reuters

This week, the European Space Agency (ESA) will perform a hot fire test on the P120C rocket engine. It is the largest-ever solid rocket motor ever built in one piece. The ESA plans to use it on the Vega rocket, replacing the current first stage booster, as well as the upcoming Ariane 6, scheduled to launch in 2020.

Transfert du P120 du BIP au VEAP le 01-06-2018

The P120C uses solid rocket fuel, like the Space Shuttle boosters and NASA's upcoming (and long-delayed) Space Launch System. The advantage to solid rocket fuel is that it's relatively stable in its final form, unlike the volatility of SpaceX's liquid oxygen fuel.

Engineers have already had the chance to work with a full-scale model of the first stage, which allowed them to run tests with inert propellant. The static fire test, also known as a hot fire or hold-down test, is the next step. The rocket motor will be held down onto the pad, while the engine is fired at full thrust. It provides the opportunity to make sure everything works as expected and to correct any anomalies that might otherwise only surface during the first launch of the P120C.

Source: ESA
In this article: ariane6, esa, rocket, space, staticfire, tomorrow, vega
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
313 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Oppo's next phone can be fully charged in just 30 minutes

Oppo's next phone can be fully charged in just 30 minutes

View
Fossil's latest hybrid watch is likely powered by Wear OS

Fossil's latest hybrid watch is likely powered by Wear OS

View
Sonos Move review: Versatility doesn't come cheap

Sonos Move review: Versatility doesn't come cheap

View
ZenBook Pro Duo review: ASUS makes a case for dual-screen laptops

ZenBook Pro Duo review: ASUS makes a case for dual-screen laptops

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr