Encyclopedia Astronautica
D


French earth geodetic satellite. 8 launches, 1966.02.17 (Diapason) to 1975.09.27 (Aura). Small French science and technology satellites used on early Diamant launch vehicle tests.

First Launch: 1966.02.17.
Last Launch: 1975.09.27.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Diamant In December 1961 France decided to demonstrate an indigenous satellite-launch capability, using stages in development for its ballistic missile program. Following careful evolutionary development, Diamant was successful on its first attempt in 1965. Improved versions were flown over the next ten years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Diamant French orbital launch vehicle. In December 1961 France decided to demonstrate an indigenous satellite-launch capability, using stages in development for its ballistic missile program. Following careful evolutionary development, Diamant was successful on its first attempt in 1965. Improved versions were flown over the next ten years. More...
  • Diamant A French orbital launch vehicle. Diamant development could be done relatively quickly using stages and systems being developed for strategic missiles. In May 1962 CNES selected DMA as program manager, with SEREB as the prime contractor. The Diamant orbital launch vehicle was created by replacing the payload of the existing Saphir test vehicle with a new third stage. Prior to any all-up satellite launch attempt the P064 third stage was flight tested on the smaller suborbital Rubis test vehicle. This evolutionary approach paid off. More...
  • Diamant B French orbital launch vehicle. As a follow-on to the Diamant-A, CNES decided to evolve a more capable launch vehicle. The Diamant-B used a new first stage with 50% more propellants and 33% more thrust; the same second stage; and a fatter third stage. Six Diamant-B boosters were ordered. Originally four of these were to be used to test the Europa 2 launch vehicle's Perigee-Apogee System. These tests were cancelled and instead CNES used five of the six boosters for orbital attempts. More...
  • Diamant BP.4 French orbital launch vehicle. In January 1972 a further evolution, the Diamant BP.4, was authorized. The second stage was replaced with the P4 Rita motor developed for the MSBS SLBM. The larger 1.38 m diameter fairing developed for the British Black Arrow launcher allowed larger payloads to be accommodated. Three launches of the BP.4 in 1975 completed the Diamant saga. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CNES French agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Paris, France. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Bramscher, Robert G, "A Survey of Launch Vehicle Failures", Spaceflight, 1980, Volume 22, page 351.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Hammaguira The constellation of launch complexes and nuclear weapons test sites established by France in Algeria began with the Special Weapons Test Center (CIEES). This began operations at Colomb-Bechar, Algeria, on April 24, 1947. Development of the larger Veronique series required a new facility. This went into operation at Hammaguir, 120 km southwest of Colomb-Bechar, in May 1952. The evacuation of these launch sites was a condition of the final agreement signed in March 1962 that ended the Algerian Civil War. The sites continued in use until finally turned over to the Algerian government on 1 July 1967. French missile test activities moved to Biscarosse, in France, and orbital launches to Kourou, in French Guiana. Hammaguira was known to have been used for at least 271 launches from 1952 to 1967. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

D Chronology


1966 February 17 - . 08:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant A. LV Configuration: Diamant A No. 2.
  • Diapason - . Payload: D-1A. Mass: 19 kg (41 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: D. USAF Sat Cat: 2016 . COSPAR: 1966-013A. Apogee: 2,484 km (1,543 mi). Perigee: 502 km (311 mi). Inclination: 34.1000 deg. Period: 115.80 min. Summary: Scientific satellite 'D-I' launched from Hammaguir (Algeria)..

1971 April 15 - . 09:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. LV Configuration: Diamant B No. 3.
  • Tournesol - . Payload: D-2A. Mass: 96 kg (211 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: D. Decay Date: 1980-01-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 5128 . COSPAR: 1971-030A. Apogee: 696 km (432 mi). Perigee: 457 km (283 mi). Inclination: 46.3000 deg. Period: 96.20 min.

1971 December 5 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. LV Configuration: Diamant B No. 4. FAILURE: Second stage failed.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • D-2A Polaire - . Payload: D-2A Polaire. Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: D. COSPAR: F711205B.

1973 May 21 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. LV Configuration: Diamant B No. 5. FAILURE: Failure - fairing did not jettison.. Failed Stage: S.
  • Castor (D 5A) - . Payload: D 5A. Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: D. Decay Date: 1972-05-21 . COSPAR: F730521A.
  • Pollux - . Payload: D-5A. Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Spacecraft: D. COSPAR: F730521B.

1975 May 17 - . 10:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant BP.4. LV Configuration: Diamant BP.4 No. 2.
  • Pollux - . Payload: D-5A. Mass: 35 kg (77 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: D. Decay Date: 1975-08-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 7801 . COSPAR: 1975-039A. Apogee: 1,256 km (780 mi). Perigee: 299 km (185 mi). Inclination: 30.0000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. D5A: Weight 36 kg. Testing in space of a hydrazine catalytic decomposition micropropulsion unit. Responsible organization: Societe Europeene de Propulsion. D5B: Weight 76 kg. Testing in space of the CACTUS accelerometer (ultrasensitive triaxial capacitive accelerometric sensor). Responsible organization: ONERA, Chatillon-sous-Berneux, France.
  • Castor - . Payload: D-5B. Mass: 77 kg (169 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: D. Decay Date: 1979-02-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 7802 . COSPAR: 1975-039B. Apogee: 1,275 km (792 mi). Perigee: 277 km (172 mi). Inclination: 29.9000 deg. Period: 100.30 min. D5A: Weight 36 kg. Testing in space of a hydrazine catalytic decomposition micropropulsion unit. Responsible organization: Societe Europeene de Propulsion. D5B: Weight 76 kg. Testing in space of the CACTUS accelerometer (ultrasensitive triaxial capacitive accelerometric sensor). Responsible organization: ONERA, Chatillon-sous-Berneux, France.

1975 September 27 - . 08:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant BP.4. LV Configuration: Diamant BP.4 No. 3.
  • Aura - . Payload: D-2. Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: D. Decay Date: 1982-09-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 8332 . COSPAR: 1975-092A. Apogee: 697 km (433 mi). Perigee: 476 km (295 mi). Inclination: 37.1000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Solar UV radiation experiments. Study of solar and stellar ultraviolet radiation. 1. Spectral analysis of small and large sources located close to the plane of the ecliptic. Responsible organization: Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, Traverse du Siphon, 13000- Marseille (France). 2. St udy of solar ultraviolet radiation and its absorption by the earth's atmosphere. Responsible organization: Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire et Planetaire, Meudon, France. Weight 106.6 kg.

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