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Europe’s Vega C rocket launch failure caused by nozzle flaw, investigators say

A fault in a nozzle caused the failure of the European Vega C rocket’s second-ever flight, a commission concluded.

“Gradual deterioration” of the rocket nozzle — and more specifically, unexpected “overerosion” of a carbon-carbon (C-C) insert inside of the nozzle — led to the loss of Vega C on Dec. 20, an independent investigation commission said today (March 3) in a European Space Agency press release (opens in new tab).

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