Encyclopedia Astronautica
Diamant BP.4



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Diamant BP.4
Credit: © Mark Wade
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.

LEO Payload: 150 kg (330 lb) in 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 9.000 million.

Gross mass: 26,300 kg (57,900 lb).
Payload: 150 kg (330 lb).
Height: 21.60 m (70.80 ft).
Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Thrust: 316.00 kN (71,039 lbf).
Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).
First Launch: 1975.02.06.
Last Launch: 1975.09.27.
Number: 3 .

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...
  • Starlette French earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1975.02.06. Geodesic satellite. 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 BP.4 Chronology


1975 February 6 - . 16:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou Diamant. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Diamant BP.4. LV Configuration: Diamant BP.4 No. 1.
  • Starlette - . Payload: Starlette (BETA). Mass: 47 kg (103 lb). Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Class: Earth. Type: Geodetic satellite. Spacecraft: Starlette. USAF Sat Cat: 7646 . COSPAR: 1975-010A. Apogee: 1,108 km (688 mi). Perigee: 805 km (500 mi). Inclination: 49.8000 deg. Period: 104.20 min. Summary: Geodesic satellite. .

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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