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P80 is the first stage of the Vega launcher. It is composed of a solid fuel engine, a 0/1 aluminium skirt interface between the launch pad and the launcher and a ½ conical aluminium skirt interface with the second stage.

Its specifications are as follows:

  • total weight: 95 tonnes;

  • diameter: 3 metres;

  • maximum working pressure: 95 bar.

P80 was developed in its own specific programme in parallel with the Vega programme. This programme is financed by the ESA and the contracting authority is the P80 programme group represented by the CNES Launcher Department (CNES/DLA/RAP/ADS). The prime contractor is the industrial AVIO.

P80 construction and integration phases (abbreviations refer to the French names)

  • delivery of the engine casing (CPN) to the Guiana Rocket Fuel Unit (UPG);

  • fuel loading at the UPG by Régulus;

  • transfer of the solid fuel engine (MPS) to the Engine Integration Building (BIP);

  • integration of the MPS nozzle igniter in the BIP by EUROPROPULSION;

  • transfer of the Vega Launch Assembly (ELV) for final integration of the stage.

(Source: CNES)


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