Encyclopedia Astronautica

Snecma, Ottobrunn lox/lh2 rocket engine. 180 kN. Upper Stages. In development. Isp=467s. Advanced expander cycle cryogenic propellant rocket engine with the capability of five in-space restarts. First hot-fire tests 2005. First flight 2010.

On 20 May 2005, the Vinci engine performed its first hot-fire test at Lampoldshausen's P4.1 test stand. Use of Vinci in the ESC-B upper stage in place of the HM-7B engine and the ESC-A (Etage Superieur Cryotechnique A) would increase the GTO payload performance of Ariane 5 to 12 tonnes. The Ottobrunn Space Propulsion Centre was responsible for the development of the Vinci Thrust Chamber under contract to Snecma. Ottobrunn developed Vinci's regeneratively cooled combustion chamber; coaxial propellant mixing injectors; dump cooled nozzle extension; gimbal joints; and the LOX and LH2 propellant shut-off valves. Engine length with the deployable nozzle extension retracted was 2.3 m. However completion of development of the ESC-B upper stage, and the Vinci engine, were put on indefinite hold in late 2005. First flight of the Vinci and ESC-B was postponed until sometime after 2010.

Application: Upper Stages.


Engine: 280 kg (610 lb). Chamber Pressure: 61.00 bar. Restarts: 5.

Status: In development.
Height: 4.20 m (13.70 ft).
Diameter: 2.15 m (7.05 ft).
Thrust: 180.00 kN (40,460 lbf).
Specific impulse: 467 s.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Ariane 5 ESC B German space tug. Study 2006. Upper stage / space tug - in production. New upper stage for Ariane 5. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SNECMA French manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. SNECMA, France. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/LH2 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and Centaur stages still fly today. More...

Associated Stages
  • Ariane 5 ESC B Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 27,500/3,400 kg. Thrust 153.90 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds. New upper stage for Ariane 5. More...

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