Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Successful First Test For Vega's Zefiro 9-A Solid-Fuel Rocket Motor

On 23 October, the Zefiro 9-A motor successfully completed its first firing test at the Salto di Quirra Inter-force Test Range in Sardinia (Italy). This test is a significant step towards the Vega launcher's qualification flight, scheduled to take place by the end of 2009. After a nominal 120-second burn time, during which a maximum combustion pressure of 75 bar was reached, the roar of the motor stopped as expected. The first results confirm the expected performance increase for this enhanced version of the motor, as well as the robustness of the modifications introduced in the nozzle design. Credits: Avio SpA (Italy)
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Oct 27, 2008
Yesterday, the Zefiro 9-A motor successfully completed its first firing test at the Salto di Quirra Inter-force Test Range in Sardinia (Italy). This was the penultimate firing test for the engine prior to the Vega launcher's qualification flight, scheduled to take place by the end of 2009.

The Zefiro 9-A (Z9-A) solid-fuel rocket motor, which will power the Vega launch vehicle's third stage, left the production facility of Avio, in Colleferro (Italy), at the end of September and was installed at the test site over the last three weeks.

After a nominal 120-second burn time, during which a maximum combustion pressure of 75 bar was reached, the roar of the motor stopped as expected. The first results confirm the expected performance increase for this enhanced version of the motor, as well as the robustness of the modifications introduced in the nozzle design.

Improved design
This improved version of the Z9, with its new nozzle design and an optimised propellant loading, is fully flight-representative of the Vega third-stage motor - the only exception being the use of a truncated nozzle in order to partially adapt the motor to sea-level conditions.

The Zefiro 9-A motor, with an overall height of 3.17 m and a diameter of 1.92 m, contains 10.5 tonnes of propellant and provides a maximum thrust of 320 kN (about 32.6 tonnes-force), in vacuum. The Z9-A has the highest propellant-mass to inert-mass ratio of any space-transportation solid-propellant rocket motor ever fired.

Some 400 sensors fitted to the motor allowed monitoring of its behaviour during and after the firing test. The data collected will enable engineers from ELV SpA (Italy), the Vega launch vehicle prime contractor, and Avio SpA (Italy), in charge of the motor development and qualification, to check its performance, in particular:

+ ballistic performance (pressure and thrust curves)

+ internal thermal-protection efficiency

+ thrust-vector control performance

+ minduced thermal and dynamic environment

Following the test firing, the motor will be shipped back to Colleferro, for detailed inspection.

Towards flight qualification
A second qualification test for the Zefiro 9-A is planned for February 2009. This will complete the qualification process of the Vega solid rocket motors. The P80 first-stage motor and the Z23 second-stage motor, both of which also use solid propellant, have already completed successful qualification firing tests.

The Vega launcher qualification flight is scheduled to take place before the end of 2009, from Europe's spaceport at Kourou, in French Guiana.

Vega is a single-body launcher composed of three solid-propellant stages and a liquid-propellant upper module. It is approximately 30 m high, and weighs a total of 137 tonnes at lift-off. The reference mission for Vega's launch capacity is to carry 1500 kg into a 700km-altitude polar orbit, but Vega will be able to launch a wide range of scientific and Earth-observation missions.

Related Links
Vega
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Brazil hopes to launch satellite rocket in 2011: report
Brasilia (AFP) Oct 21, 2008
Brazil hopes to have a basic version of a satellite transport rocket blasting off from its territory in 2011 after successful tests of one of the vehicle's engines this week, a report said.







  • Successful First Test For Vega's Zefiro 9-A Solid-Fuel Rocket Motor
  • Brazil hopes to launch satellite rocket in 2011: report
  • NASA And Air Force Work To Establish Hypersonic Science Centers
  • Iran To Conduct First Satellite Launch Soon

  • European science satellite launch delayed until at least February
  • Boeing Launches Third Italian Earth Observation Satellite
  • GOCE Launch Delayed Until 2009
  • Launch Complex Now Available For Civil, Commercial Launches

  • Endeavour Crew Arrives For Practice Countdown
  • Endeavour Nears Launch Pad 39A
  • STS-126 Mission Moves Forward
  • Atlantis Reaches VAB

  • Expedition 17 Set To Undock Today
  • Expedition 18 Takes Charge
  • Expedition 18 Crew Docks With Space Station
  • Expedition 18 Crew Launches From Baikonur

  • Soyuz Lands In Kazakhstan With Two Russian cosmonauts And Tourist
  • Center To Study Acute Effects Of Space Radiation
  • ISRO Eyes Manned Moon Mission By 2015
  • India To Build New Launch-Pad, Astronaut Training Centre

  • China Successfully Launches Research Satellites
  • China To Launch FY-4 Weather Satellite Around 2013
  • Shenzhou 7 Astronauts In Good Health
  • Chinese Scientists Start Studying Samples From Shenzhou-7

  • VIPeR Robot Demonstrates Exceptional Agility
  • iRobot Receives Order From TARDEC For iRobot Warrior 700
  • iRobot Awarded US Army Contract For Robotic Systems
  • Robots Learn To Follow

  • Mars pioneers should stay there permanently, says Buzz Aldrin
  • Phoenix Lander Finishes Soil Delivery To Onboard Labs
  • Laser could aid search for life on Mars
  • Europe delays ExoMars mission, again

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement