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Vega C launch failure blamed on eroded nozzle component
Posted: Sun, Mar 5, 2023, 11:24 AM ET (1624 GMT)
Vega C second launch December 2022 (ESA) Investigators blamed the failed launch of a Vega C rocket last December on a component in the nozzle of the rocket's second stage. ESA said Friday that the independent investigation into the failure found that a throat insert in the nozzle of the Zefiro-40 motor, made of carbon-carbon material, suffered "thermo-mechanical over-erosion" during the launch. That erosion was linked to higher porosity of the material that was not detected in earlier acceptance testing. Avio, the prime contractor for Vega C, will replace that component, manufactured by Ukrainian company Yuzhnoye, with one from ArianeGroup. An older Vega rocket, not affected by the problem, will launch several unnamed payloads before the end of the summer, with Vega C scheduled to return to flight by the end of the year, launching the Sentinel-1C radar imaging satellite.
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