It’s the solid-propellant first stage of the Vega Launcher. At present, it’s the largest single-unit, solid-propellant engine ever built with Filament Winding technology.
Almost 11 metres tall and with a diameter of 3 metres, it weighs 95 tonnes and burns around 88 tonnes of solid propellant in slightly less than 2 minutes. The P80 generates 300 tonnes of thrust – the same amount produced by four jumbo jets on take-off.
The first static bench test was successfully completed in late 2006 at the Kourou Space Centre in French Guyana. The results were confirmed in late 2007, when the P80 fully passed its qualifying test, again at Kourou.