Encyclopedia Astronautica
Dragon 1


French sounding rocket. Two stage sounding rocket. The Belier upper stage was augmented by a Stromboli booster with 686 kg of solid propellant. The rocket was spin stabilised by small solid rocket engines on the four fins.

Payload: 60 kg (132 lb) to a 475 km altitude. Failures: 5. Success Rate: 86.49%. First Fail Date: 1962-12-05. Last Fail Date: 1968-05-22.

AKA: Dragon.
Gross mass: 1,157 kg (2,550 lb).
Payload: 60 kg (132 lb).
Height: 7.10 m (23.20 ft).
Diameter: 0.56 m (1.82 ft).
Span: 1.23 m (4.02 ft).
Thrust: 75.00 kN (16,860 lbf).
Apogee: 475 km (295 mi).
First Launch: 1962.12.05.
Last Launch: 1972.12.13.
Number: 37 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Belier Family of sounding rockets, developed by Sud Aviation, with the only or upper stage being variants of the Belier stage powered by a Jericho rocket motor. These were the most significant series of French civilian suborbital rockets. Manufacturing licenses were sold to India and Pakistan, becoming the basis of their rocket industries. More...

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...
  • Salto di Quirra Salto di Quirra, in southeast Sardinia near the town of Perdas de Fogu, is an inter-service missile test center operated by the Italian Air Force. It also supports sounding rocket launches and test of larger rockets in support of Italy's abandoned ballistic missile and on-and-of satellite launcher programs. More...
  • Sonmiani Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 90 launches from 1962 to 2007, reaching up to 423 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Andoya Andoya Rocket Range (ARR) is the world's northernmost permanent launch facility for sounding rockets and scientific balloons and is responsible for all scientific-related balloon and rocket operations in Norwegian territory. ARR provides complete services for launch, operations, data acquisition, recovery and ground instrumentation support. The range has conducted more than 650 rocket launches and hosted scientists and engineers from more than 70 institutes and universities. More...
  • CELPA Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 92 launches from 1962 to 1974, reaching up to 406 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Thumba Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 1385 launches from 1963 to 2004, reaching up to 400 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Vik Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 4 launches from 1964 to 1965, reaching up to 451 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Biscarosse In April 1962 France signed the final agreements with Algeria, requiring them to evacuate their rocket test ranged there by July 1967. Three months later a site on French soil on the Bay of Biscay, at Landes, near Biscarosse, was selected. The site would allow the testing of missiles over the Atlantic out to a range of 3000 km. This would put the RV impact area near the Azores, and a tracking station was opened in October 1966 on Flores island. More...
  • Dumont d'Urville Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 4 launches from in 1967, reaching up to 340 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Mar Chiquita Sounding rocket launch location known to have been used for 69 launches from 1968 to 1976, reaching up to 430 kilometers altitude. 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...
  • Kourou ALFS Veronique, Stromboli, Skua, Cajun, Belier, Arcas launch complex. Aire de Lancement Fusee-Sondes More...

Associated Stages
  • Dragon-2 Solid rocket stage. 20.00 kN (4,496 lbf) thrust. Mass 300 kg (661 lb). More...
  • Stromboli Solid rocket stage. 75.00 kN (16,861 lbf) thrust. Mass 900 kg (1,984 lb). More...

Dragon 1 Chronology


1962 December 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-03. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 April 26 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-04. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 58 km (36 mi).

1963 October 30 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-05.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 470 km (290 mi).

1964 February 10 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-07.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 470 km (290 mi).

1964 April 11 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-09.
  • FU-104B Probe / Na Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1964 April 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-06.
  • FU-104B Probe / Na Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 425 km (264 mi).

1964 August 1 - . Launch Site: Vik. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-10.
  • FU-125 ionosphere / particles Aeronomy /ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi).

1964 August 7 - . Launch Site: Vik. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-11.
  • FU-125 ionosphere / particles Aeronomy /ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 420 km (260 mi).

1964 December 3 - . 17:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-16.
  • FU-103B MPE Ba-11 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi).

1965 August 24 - . Launch Site: Vik. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-17.
  • FU-146 / VLF Aeronomy /ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi).

1965 September 3 - . Launch Site: Vik. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-18.
  • FU-146 / VLF Aeronomy /ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 451 km (280 mi).

1965 November 20 - . 17:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bechar. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-8.
  • MPE Ba-16? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 404 km (251 mi).

1966 January 21 - . 08:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-21.
  • FU-133 Sodium release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1966 May 4 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-12.
  • FU-130 Lyra alpha Aeronomy / chemical / lyra-alpha spectrometry mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi).

1966 May 12 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-13.
  • FU-130 Lyra alpha Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 464 km (288 mi).

1966 May 23 - . 05:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-14.
  • FU-131 Atomic Hydrogen Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi).

1966 May 26 - . 19:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-20.
  • FU-151 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 230 km (140 mi).

1966 June 1 - . 00:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-23.
  • FU-153 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere / plasma / field mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi).

1966 June 14 - . 14:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-15.
  • FU-131 Atomic Hydrogen Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 480 km (290 mi).

1966 June 15 - . 19:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-22.
  • FU-131 Sodium release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1966 June 16 - . 00:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-19. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FU-151 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1966 October 17 - . 22:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-28.
  • FU-165 Ions / Electric Field Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi).

1967 January 25 - . 23:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Dumont d'Urville. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-24.
  • FU-145B ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi).

1967 January 28 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Dumont d'Urville. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-25.
  • FU-151 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 310 km (190 mi).

1967 January 29 - . 01:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Dumont d'Urville. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-26.
  • FU-151 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi).

1967 January 29 - . 03:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Dumont d'Urville. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-27.
  • FU-151 ionosphere / particles Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi).

1967 May 5 - . 14:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonmiani. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-33.
  • Shahpar-1 test - . Nation: Pakistan. Agency: SUPARCO. Apogee: 423 km (262 mi).

1967 October 4 - . 13:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon DE-35.
  • ESRO D34 / 1 Solar x-ray / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 248 km (154 mi).

1967 October 7 - . 10:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon DE-30.
  • ESRO D30 / 1 Solar x-ray / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 233 km (144 mi).

1967 October 10 - . 14:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon DE-36. FAILURE: Failure.
  • ESRO D34 / 2 Solar x-ray / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1968 February 14 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-32.
  • FU-172 Solar Helium Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi).

1968 March 29 - . 14:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonmiani. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-34.
  • Shahpar-2 test - . Nation: Pakistan. Agency: SUPARCO. Apogee: 420 km (260 mi).

1968 May 22 - . 16:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-31. FAILURE: Failure.
  • ESRO D30 / 2 Ionosphere / solar x-rays mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1969 March 17 - . 12:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-29.
  • FU-172 Solar EUV 1 Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 410 km (250 mi).

1969 September 20 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-39.
  • ISRO 26.01 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1970 May 6 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Mar Chiquita. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-37.
  • Electron density Test / plasma / fields mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 430 km (260 mi).

1972 December 13 - . 05:18 GMT - . Launch Site: CELPA. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. LV Configuration: Dragon D-38.
  • FU-206 Protons / electrons Ionosphere / geocorona mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi).

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