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A mock-up of Europe’s Vega launcher first stage was transferred on 26 October from the Booster Integration Building to the Vega Launch Zone at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
The ground segment elements that were used for the transfer and the integration of the P80 stage onto the launch table included the dolly interface, the upper and lower pallets and the anti-vortex shedding ring.
The dolly interface ensures the alignment of the lower pallet wheels with respect to the transfer rails. The lower pallet allows the transfer of the stack comprising the pallets and the first stage from the ‘Fardier’, a special transport vehicle, to the launch table.
The upper pallet is the ground interface of the launcher and the anti-vortex shedding ring complements the upper pallet in providing the right ground interface with the launch vehicle.
These elements were first integrated on the ‘Fardier’ in the Regulus propellant-loading plant operated by Italian company Avio and transferred to the Booster Integration Building, operated by Europropulsion, to be mated with the first stage.