AVIO reunites in Italy the brains of European space
About a hundred of the main European experts in space launchers gathered at Colleferro, near Rome, for a project in which the AVIO Group has a leading role both for the new space motors and especially for the VEGA C orbital launcher. “Thanks to the funding from the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the Italian Space Agency”, said AVIO CEO Giulio Ranzo, “we are responsible for leading the work of the European consortium which, under the auspices of the European Space Agency, is developing an even more advanced and powerful version of the VEGA orbital launcher. After the first six perfect launches, the VEGA is already considered the best vehicle of its category in the world. But, in a sector where developments require years of work, we have started developing further improvements straight away. We are proud of the fact that we deserve the trust of our Country and of being able to contribute to maintaining levels of technological competence in Italy that are envied all over the world.” In fact, through ELV (70% AVIO, 30% ASI), the AVIO Group, as Prime Contractor of the future launcher VEGA C, is hosting at the Colleferro site (Rome) the second meeting of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), a very important phase of the VECEP (VEga Consolidation and Evolution Program) for the development of the future launcher.
“The development of a complex system that requires years and hundreds of thousands of hours of design and experimentation, is split into a certain number of consequential phases”, explained Pierluigi Pirrelli, CEO of ELV, the company that the AVIO Group (70%) has established for the purpose with the Italian Space Agency (30%). “At the end of each project phase, there is the possibility to voluntarily submit the work to the strict examination of external experts who, not taking part personally in the activities, make more objective contributions. This examination started about a month ago when we submitted over a hundred technical documents, in a controlled and confidential process, explaining the reasons for the choices made up to now. The European experts have made objections and criticisms while we have explained and justified our choices. We are now tying up the loose ends of this work so as to ascertain the really useful corrections from it. The aim of all this is to acquire maximum confidence in the quality of our choices in order to ensure the full success of the new VEGA C launcher.”
The development of the VEGA C was approved on 2 December 2014 during the Ministerial Council of the Member States of the European Space Agency. At the same occasion the development of the Ariane 6 launcher was approved, as was the P120 C motor, which will be common to the VEGA C and Ariane 6. The AVIO Group is part of the European Space Program approved in 2014 with the responsibility for the entire VEGA launcher and the new P120 motor to be used both on VEGA C and Ariane 6.