Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The second qualification model of the P120C solid rocket motor, configured for Ariane 6, completed its hot firing on 7 October 2020 in a final test to prove its readiness for flight.

Depending on the configuration, two or four P120C motors, developed in Europe, will be strapped onto the sides of the future Ariane 6 as boosters for liftoff. The P120C will also be used as the first stage of Vega-C.

After it was fully loaded with 142 tons of fuel, the 13.5 m long and 3.4 m diameter motor was ignited to simulate liftoff and the first phase of flight.

The motor burned for 130 seconds and delivered a maximum thrust of about 4500kN. The test was performed at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, and was completed with no anomalies.

Credit: ESA/CNES