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October 12, 2020
Explosive Rocket Motor Test

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An animated GIF of the test can be viewed on the Earth Imaging Journal homepage at www.eijournal.com.

The second qualification model of the P120C solid rocket motor, configured for Ariane 6, completed its hot firing on Oct. 7, 2020, in a final test to prove its readiness for flight.

Depending on the configuration, two or four P120C motors, developed in Europe, will be strapped onto the sides of the future Ariane 6 launch vehicle as boosters for liftoff. The P120C will also be used as the first stage of Vega-C.

After it was fully loaded with 142 metric tons of fuel, the 13.5-meter-long and 3.4-meter-diameter motor was ignited to simulate liftoff and the first phase of flight.

The motor burned for 133 seconds and delivered a maximum thrust of about 4,800 kN. The test was performed at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana and was completed with no anomalies.

Image Credit: ESA

 

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