P80 (rocket stage)

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P80
Vega first stage engine being transferred to the test stand.jpg
P80 being transferred to the test stand
Country of origin Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium
First flight 13 February 2012
Designer Avio
Manufacturer Avio
Application Main stage solid-fuel rocket
Associated L/V ESA
Status In use
Solid-fuel motor
Propellant Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)
Casing Carbon-epoxy filament-wound
Performance
Thrust (SL) 2,261 kN (508,300 lbf)
Isp (vac.) 280 s (2.7 km/s)
Total impulse 240,470 kN s
Burn time 109.8 s
Propellant capacity 88,365 kg (194,811 lb)
Dimensions
Length 11.714 m (38.43 ft)
Diameter 3.005 m (9.86 ft)
Dry weight 7,330 kg (16,160 lb)
Used in
Vega
References
References [1][2]:5[3]

P80 is a solid-fuel first-stage rocket motor used on the European Space Agency Vega rocket (in the P80FW version). It is the world's largest and most powerful one-piece solid-fuel rocket engine.[3]

History[edit]

The P80's development was led by a joint team of ESA, CNES and ASI since 2005, with Avio selected as the prime contractor.[2]:15 The first test of the P80 engine was completed at Guiana Space Centre in November 2006 followed by qualification tests in December 2007.[1] The first launch was completed on 13 February 2012,[4][5] with the first commercial launch following on 7 May 2012.[6] Total development cost of the engine reached €76 million.[2]:15

Overview[edit]

P80 is a single monolithic solid rocket motor propelled by hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene which burns for 109.8 s and is jettisoned at an altitude of 61 km after achieving a relative speed of 1.7 km/s.[2]:13[3]

The engine shares specifications with Ariane 5 solid rocket boosters - it has the same 3 meter diameter and similar height to the largest segments of the booster. This allows using the same facilities and equipment at the Guiana Propellant Plant for loading the propellant and transporting the engine to the launch site. The nozzle of the P80 is also a direct evolution of the one used in Ariane 5 boosters.[2]:5

The manufacture process is divided among several European companies. Italian Avio manufactures the main motor case loaded with fuel, performs integration of the components, and final testing. French-Italian Europropulsion manufactures the P80 motor while Regulus performs propellant loading. Aerospace Propulsion Products BV from Netherlands builds the igniter.[7] Belgian SABCA produces components for thrust vectoring and the staging skirt. French Herakles manufactures the engine nozzle.[2]:5

Future developments[edit]

P120C
Country of origin Italy, Germany[8]
Designer Avio
Manufacturer Avio
Application Main stage solid-fuel rocket
Associated L/V ESA
Status In development
Solid-fuel motor
Propellant Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)
Casing Carbon-epoxy filament-wound
Performance
Thrust (SL) 4,500 kN (1,012,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 278.5 s (2.731 km/s)
Burn time 132.8 s
Propellant capacity 143,600 kg (316,600 lb)
Dimensions
Length 11.7 m (38 ft)
Diameter 3.4 m (11 ft)
Dry weight 11,000 kg (24,000 lb)
Used in
Vega C, Ariane 6
References
References [9]

A wider P120C version of the engine, increasing the propellant mass to 143.6 tons, is in development for use as Ariane 6 boosters and Vega C first stage.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vega Satellite Launcher" (PDF). Avio. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Press Kit - Vega qualification flight VV01" (PDF). ESA. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Vega Launcher - Launcher Composition". European Launch Vehicle S.p.A. P.IVA. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "ESA's new Vega launcher scores success on maiden flight". ESA. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Vega maiden launch goes to plan". Flightglobal. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Vega's second success 'confirms functionality'". Flightglobal. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  7. ^ APP Aerospace Propulsion Products B.V. (2013-05-07). "APP: Space - Specialist in the development and production of igniters for rocket engines". Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  8. ^ spacenews.com/esa-decision-frees-up-full-funding-for-ariane-6-rocket/
  9. ^ http://www.avio.com/en/ariane/ariane-6/p120c-motor/
  10. ^ http://www.avio.com/en/ariane/ariane-6/p120c-motor/