Encyclopedia Astronautica
Seliger



sel2st.jpg
Seliger Rocket
Launch of Seliger Three Stage Rocket
Credit: Via Harald Lutz
Berthold Seliger's firm designed a modular series of sounding rockets in 1961-1964. One, two, and three stage versions were built, reaching 52, 80, and 120 km altitude.

Few technical details are available, except that the respective lengths of the three versions were 3.4 m, 6.0 m, and 12.8 m. Each stage had a thrust of 5000 kgf. Seliger provided a turnkey launch service, with a diameter-adaptable (11 to 56 cm) common transporter-launcher for all versions, tracking equipment, and launch services. The German military provided security, communications, and a helicopter for spotting and recover of the payload cannister. Seliger conducted his launches under the auspices of the German Rocket Society, under contract to the Max Planck Institute and a military contractor. All launches were made from Cuxhaven, but evidently discontinued when the German government prohibited civilian rocket launches in June 1964. The fate of Seliger and his firm remain unknown...

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Seliger German sounding rocket. Berthold Seliger's firm designed a modular series of sounding rockets in 1961-1964. One, two, and three stage versions were built, reaching 52, 80, and 120 km altitude. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cuxhaven As the only site in Germany with an unrestricted over-water firing sector over the North Sea, Cuxhaven was once touted as 'the Cape Canaveral of Germany'. Primarily known to space historians for the three post-war V-2 launches under project Backfire, it played an important role in the nascent post-World War II German rocketry. A nearly completely unknown series of scientific sounding rocket launches were made from the area in 1957-1964 before the launch site was closed on (purportedly) safety and (actually) military grounds. More...

Seliger Chronology


1962 November 19 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger.
  • Seliger rocket reaches 40 km - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Seliger. Summary: Berthold Seliger made the first launches of his rockets from Cuxhaven. Three 3.4 m long, single stage rockets reached altitudes of 40 km. The on-board transmitters were tracked by the Bochum Observatory..

1962 November 19 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1962 November 19 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1962 November 19 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1963 February 7 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger.
  • Seliger rockets reach 80 km. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Seliger. Seliger launched three rockets. The 3.4 m long single stage version reached an altitude of 52 km, and the 6.0 m long two stage version reached 80 km. Each stage had a thrust of 5000 kgf. Bochum Observatory tracked the radio transmitters of the payloads during their ascent. The wreckage of the missiles was found on the flats. Seliger announced plans to launch a three-stage rocket to 150 km altitude.

1963 February 7 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 52 km (32 mi).

1963 February 7 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 February 7 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 May 2 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger.
  • Seliger rocket reaches 120 km altitude. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Seliger. Seliger launched his 12.8 m long, three-stage rocket at an attempt to reach an altitude of 150 km. The effects of his contracts with the military were apparent. The 74th Panzer batallion at Altenwalde provided security, field communications, two jeeps as command posts, and a helicopter to search for the missile after the flight. The first launch of the day was that of a single-stage rocket to 50 km altitude. The mission was to measure high altitude winds and test the new parachute recovery system. The payload was successfully recovered in Wernerwald. Preparation of the three stage rocket took three hours, leading up to the planned 16:00 launch time. The 6 m long rocket lifted off at 16:03 but only reached an altitude of 120 km.

1963 May 2 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 May 2 - . 15:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1963 December 5 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger.
  • First Cuxhaven military launches - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Seliger. The first military launches were made from Cuxhaven since the Backfire V-2 launches of 1945. Seliger, under contract to Waffen und Luftruestung AG (Weapons and Air Development Inc) of Hamburg launched a test rocket. The altitude was restricted to 30 km by a new regulation of the Lower Saxony Economy and Trade Ministry.

1963 December 5 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Seliger. Launch Vehicle: Seliger 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DRG. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

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