(AGI) Rome, Dec 3 - The prime contractor for the Vega rocketlauncher, Italy's Avio S.p.A., will develop a more powerfulVega-C launcher and new space engines for the Ariane 6, thesuccessor to the highly successful European Ariane 5 rocket.Ministers from European Space Agency (ESA) member statesapproved plans for the Vega-C launcher and Ariane 6 at aministerial conference in Luxembourg on Wednesday. The plansinclude the development of innovative 120-tonne (P120) solidfuel boosters in carbon fibre. Ariane 6 is a three-stagemodular launcher with two configurations - either two or foursolid fuel engines - allowing maximum flexibility forcommercial necessities. It can be used for single launches orfor launches to various satellites. Vega-C will be the new,improved, and more versatile launcher developed by Avio throughits group member company ELV, 70 percent of which is owned byAvio and 30 percent by ASI. Vega-C will increase the cargothreshold by up to two tonnes in low orbit, including inmultiple satellite missions. Avio's carbon fibre boosters havealready been used in the 88-tonne (P80) version of the Vegalauncher, for which Avio has recently secured contracts for 10more launchers over the next three years. The solid fuelboosters will be built by the Avio Group's establishments inColleferro and French Guyana, ensuring continuity fordevelopment and production. Avio's CEO Pier Giuliano Lasagnicommented: "Applying composite materials technology to carrierrockets provides great advantages in terms of reducing weightand costs. For this reason, on top of design and construction,we have researched a resin to develop imbued carbon fibretextiles that are necessary for such engines. This technologyallows us to maintain our leadership among the world's solidfuel booster constructors. The approval by the Conference ofMinisters of the development phase of our new Vega-C launcherand the Ariane 6 confirms the high technological quality andcompetence reached by our teams in Italy, France, and FrenchGuyana. Avio holds a central role in the internationalaeropsace industry, and with Vega it has allowed Italy to beamong the few nations to have their own space launcher". (AGI). .