Encyclopedia Astronautica
Dragon 3


French sounding rocket. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Stromboli + 1 x Belier III

Payload: 60 kg (132 lb) to a 560 km altitude. Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1969-05-27. Last Fail Date: 1969-05-27.

Gross mass: 1,190 kg (2,620 lb).
Payload: 60 kg (132 lb).
Height: 8.16 m (26.77 ft).
Diameter: 0.56 m (1.83 ft).
Thrust: 97.00 kN (21,806 lbf).
Apogee: 560 km (340 mi).
First Launch: 1968.07.23.
Last Launch: 1973.02.17.
Number: 7 .

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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Stromboli Solid rocket stage. 75.00 kN (16,861 lbf) thrust. Mass 900 kg (1,984 lb). More...

Dragon 3 Chronology


1968 July 23 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-301.
  • FU-188 Technology test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 562 km (349 mi).

1969 April 26 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-302.
  • FU-188 Technology test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 410 km (250 mi).

1969 May 27 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-303. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FU-192 Plasma Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1969 November 18 - . 13:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-304.
  • FU-192 Plasma Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 475 km (295 mi).

1970 October 6 - . 10:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-305.
  • EIDI-1 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 480 km (290 mi).

1970 October 22 - . 08:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3. LV Configuration: Dragon 3 D-306.
  • EIDI-2 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 480 km (290 mi).

1973 February 17 - . 23:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3.
  • FU-211 EIDI-3 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi).

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