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In the image below, we see some bumps at the conical section of what I believe is the transition from the first to the second stage.

What function do they serve?

A photo of the Vega rocket

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Closer view: enter image description here (Cropped from here)

They are retro-rockets used in the stage separation system.

enter image description here

Source

A CFD image of the thrusters firing:

enter image description here

Source

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  • $\begingroup$ Seems kind of pointless, is there a specific reason they explain for the system to exist in the first place? Is there a reason they can't delay X seconds for the vessels to drift apart? $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Jul 12 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn read the first paragraph in the last link in my answer. My summary of it: For some reason the aerodynamics at staging tended to push the two bodies together. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jul 12 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ Took a quote: "The separatation of the first stage is one of the most critical phases of the flight of every single body launcher beacause it happens at relatively low altitude and as a consequence the forward body is subjected to non-negligible aerodynamic forces which tend to bring the two bodies together again [before significant separation occurs]." if you want to include it :). That was a good read. The conclusion says what I expected, "we did it because we researched it and thought we should!" I didn't actually expect it to not have function was just wondering in general. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Jul 12 at 20:22
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Supplemental to Organic Marble's answer, this is what the interstage looks like underneath the covers:

enter image description here

(found somewhere on the CapcomEspace website, but I can't find the exact page any more)

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