European Vega-C rocket It won’t be able to return to space until late 2024A technical glitch dictated the failure of its first commercial mission since last December, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Monday.
This new date means Another blow to the agencyIt is currently facing serious launcher problems due to delays in Ariane 6, whose maiden flight is scheduled for next year.
Russian Soyuz rockets also cannot be used due to ESA Sanctions on Moscow For the invasion of Ukraine.
The new calendar is due to an independent commission of inquiry A design review is recommended From the Zephyro 40 engine nozzle, it propels the rocket’s second stage, ESA said.
Vega-C’s output is a cA technical problem diverted the rocket from its courseSo task control enabled a self-destruct system.
In February, the fault was discovered Insertion neck Engine end, carbon composite part made in Ukraine.
Later, in June, a ground test of the Zefiro 40 rocket ignition was recorded Major damage Among the new components provided by the European Ariangroup.
The commission added that Vega C’s new commercial flight should be before it takes off Two successful trials Ground ignition of Zefiro 40 rocket with its redesigned nozzles.
The first test should take place “In the second quarter of next year”Giulio Renzo, CEO of Italian company Avio, the rocket’s main manufacturer, told a press conference today.
Currently there is only ESA Two units of the Vega rocketAccording to the agency, the initial version of the launcher, one of which is scheduled for commercial operation next Wednesday and the other in the second quarter of next year.
ESA’s Director General Joseph Aschbacher has warned on several occasions Strategic importance of Europe It can provide commercial access to ensure its technological sovereignty in space.