Encyclopedia Astronautica
Diamant B



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Diamant B
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Diamant B
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Diamant B
Diamant B - COSPAR 1970-109
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Diamant BP.4
Diamant BP.4 - COSPAR 1975-039
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Diamant B
Credit: © Mark Wade
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.

LEO Payload: 160 kg (350 lb) to a 200 km orbit. Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1971-12-05. Last Fail Date: 1973-05-21.

Stage Data - Diamant B

  • Stage 1. 1 x Diamant B-1. Gross Mass: 21,500 kg (47,300 lb). Empty Mass: 3,500 kg (7,700 lb). Thrust (vac): 396.522 kN (89,142 lbf). Isp: 251 sec. Burn time: 110 sec. Isp(sl): 221 sec. Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft). Span: 2.30 m (7.50 ft). Length: 14.08 m (46.19 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 4. Engine: Vexin C. Other designations: L-17. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x
  • Stage 3. 1 x Diamant B-3. Gross Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Empty Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Thrust (vac): 50.000 kN (11,240 lbf). Isp: 211 sec. Burn time: 46 sec. Isp(sl): 211 sec. Diameter: 0.80 m (2.62 ft). Span: 0.80 m (2.62 ft). Length: 1.67 m (5.47 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: P6. Other designations: P-6. Status: Out of Production.

Gross mass: 26,990 kg (59,500 lb).
Payload: 160 kg (350 lb).
Height: 23.50 m (77.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.50 m (4.90 ft).
Thrust: 349.00 kN (78,458 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1970.03.10.
Last Launch: 1973.05.21.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • 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. More...
  • Dial MIKA French technology satellite. One launch, 1970.03.10. Engineering package; monitored launch vehicle performance. More...
  • DIAL WIKA German technology satellite. One launch, 1970.03.10, DIAL-WIKA. More...
  • Peole French communications satellite. One launch, 1970.12.12. Gathered data from meteorological balloon system. More...

Associated Engines
  • P4 SNPE solid rocket engine. 176.5 kN. Out of Production. Isp=273s. Used on Diamant B launch vehicle. First flight 1970. More...
  • P6 SNPE solid rocket engine for Diamant launcher. 29.4 kN. Out of production. Isp=211s. First flight 1965. More...
  • Vexin C SEP N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 99.1 kN. Out of production. Isp=251s. Used on Diamant B launch vehicle. First flight 1970. More...

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 Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SEREB French manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. SEREB, France. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...

Associated Stages
  • Diamant B-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 800/120 kg. Thrust 50.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 211 seconds. More...
  • Diamant BP-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 4,500/1,000 kg. Thrust 176.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 273 seconds. More...
  • Diamant B-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 21,500/3,500 kg. Thrust 396.52 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 251 seconds. More...

Diamant B Chronology


1970 March 10 - . 12:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. LV Configuration: Diamant B No. 1.
  • DIAL-WIKA - . Payload: DIAL Wissenschaftliche Kapsel. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: CNES; BMW. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Dial WIKA. Decay Date: 1978-10-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 4344 . COSPAR: 1970-017A. Apogee: 1,631 km (1,013 mi). Perigee: 301 km (187 mi). Inclination: 5.4000 deg. Period: 104.20 min. Summary: Engineering package..
  • Dial MIKA - . Payload: DIAL Mini Kapsel/P068. Mass: 52 kg (114 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES; BMW. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Dial MIKA. Decay Date: 1974-09-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 4345 . COSPAR: 1970-017B. Apogee: 1,638 km (1,017 mi). Perigee: 310 km (190 mi). Inclination: 5.4000 deg. Period: 104.56 min. Summary: Engineering package; monitored launch vehicle performance. .

1970 December 12 - . 13:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. LV Configuration: Diamant B No. 2.
  • Peole - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Peole. Decay Date: 1980-06-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 4801 . COSPAR: 1970-109A. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). Perigee: 634 km (393 mi). Inclination: 15.0000 deg. Period: 98.60 min. Summary: Gathered data from meteorological balloon system. .

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.

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