To realize this Engine an European Industrial team has been created with Italy (and AVIO) to lead an Organization that involves industries from Belgium, Czech republic, Switzerland, France, Austria and Romania.
The M10 engine, first European Methane Engine and stage, shall open the way to a new generation of Launchers (namely VEGA E and VEGA E Light) that have the objective to increase competitiveness of European Small Launchers profiting as much as possible of Technologies and Infrastructures developed for VEGA and VEGA-C launchers.
M10 is a cryogenic LOX/LCH4 10-tons class liquid rocket engine and it will be the Upper Stage of the Vega E launcher. At the nominal point and steady-state M10 engine has to provide 98 kN thrust, with propellants mixture ratio 3.4. The minimum specific impulse Isp required is 362 s.
The engine will be able to throttle the thrust from the Nominal Thrust level down to the 75 % of nominal value in steady state.
M10 is based on an expander closed-cycle and it consists in a multiple-start regenerative cooled single chamber. Combustion is initiated by a torch igniter, which is fed by gaseous propellants GOX and GH2.
Propellants pressure is raised by two dedicated turbopumps, arranged in series and both driven by hot gas powered turbines. Engine power is controlled by the regulator valve RV and mixture ratio adjusted by the throttle valve TV, to achieve desired engine performance.