ESA, Arianespace ID cause & corrective action for December Vega-C failure; resolving industrial disputes will be harder

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The second-stage carbon-composite nozzle component purchased in Ukraine that caused the Dec. 20 failure of Europe’s Vega-C rocket had passed specification testing that was not designed to discover the subtle defects that allowed it to erode during flight, an independent commission concluded.

The component, called a nozzle throat insert, had been cleared for launch following two static-fire tests of the Vega-C Zefiro 40 second stage and had also worked fine during Vega-C’s inaugural flight in July 2022.

The investigation determined . . .

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