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Avio Completes First Successful Test Of Methalox Rocket Engine

A new era for European propulsion.

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Jay Keegan

Jay Keegan

Wed Aug 16 2023Written by Jay Keegan

Avio, an Italian-based developer of space propulsion systems, has announced the successful testing of its M10 methalox engine. This first engine test for DM2 heralds the introduction of a new, enhanced, lighter, and fully throttleable version of Avio's upper stage engine for the upcoming Vega-E launcher.

The test, conducted on August 4th, was the second test of the M10 upper-stage engine. The engine is designed and built by Avio, and is planned to be used on Europe's upcoming Vega-E launch vehicle. During the DM2 test, the engine produced 100kN of thrust, which is 2kN more than what is required for a nominal flight aboard Vega-E.

Vega-E will utilise the same first stage (P120) and second stage (Zefiro 40) as the currently-grounded Vega-C launcher, but its third stage is what separates it apart from its predecessors. With the third stage’s manoeuvring and throttling capabilities Vega-E will have the option to deploy payloads in various orbits in a single mission.

While Vega-E will be manufactured and owned by Avio, like Vega and Vega-C it will be operated by Arianespace - Europe's leading launch service provider.


Watch The Test