Avio Successfully Tested M10-methane Engine Prototype

M10 liquid oxygen-methane engine. (Credit: Avio)

COLLEFERRO, Italy (Avio PR) – Today in Colleferro Avio successfully tested the prototype of the new M10 liquid oxygen-methane engine, developed by Avio in partnership with the European Space Agency within the Vega E (Vega Evolution) program. The prototype is a scaled model of the third stage propulsion engine which will equip the Vega launcher starting from 2024.

The technology adopted represents a true innovation for both propulsion efficiency and environmental sustainability, given its reduced emissions and combustion waste. The prototype has been structured through additive manufacturing following Avio’s SMSP (Single Material Single Part) patent, exploiting advanced 3D-laser printing technologies.

Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio, commented: “Avio is very satisfied with the M10 test result, the first European prototype of a LOx-Methane engine, a truly cutting-edge technology with extremely low environmental impact, available to very few players worldwide. In the medium term, this engine will allow to replace the last two propulsion stages (Z9 and Avum) with a new cryogenic propulsion stage far more efficient and flexible. Our objective is to keep on increasing Vega’s cost competitiveness and maneuverability to orbit small satellites in low earth orbit, while the possibility to launch bigger satellites in geostationary and medium orbits will be ensured by Ariane 6”.

  • WhoAmI

    > environmental sustainability, given its reduced emissions and combustion waste

    Kind of funny to think of environmental concerns when the 3rd stage is firing, since it occurs well outside the earth’s atmosphere. In all seriousness though, I’m guessing the issues are here on the ground such as testing, handling and storage of the Z9 and AVUM propellants. Maybe there are also concerns with respect to man-rated trips to the space station or (future) lunar gateway.

  • savuporo

    LM10-MIRA lives on ?