Encyclopedia Astronautica
Emeraude VE121


French orbital launch vehicle. Emeraude was a step toward larger liquid propellant launch vehicles, building on the Veronique and Vesta experience. It burned 12.8 tonnes nitric acid/turpentine pressure-fed propellants in 91 seconds. Tthe engine was gimbaled for pitch and yaw control, with aerodynamic fins controlling roll. In anticipation of the next step, Saphir, a dummy Topaze stage topped the vehicle to confirm aerodynamic characteristics. The first three launches were failures due to propellant sloshing. This was remedied in the later tests.

Payload: 395 kg (870 lb) to a 200 km altitude. Failures: 3. First Fail Date: 1964-06-15. Last Fail Date: 1964-10-20. Boost Propulsion: Nitric acid/Turpentine.

Gross mass: 18,200 kg (40,100 lb).
Payload: 395 kg (870 lb).
Height: 17.93 m (58.82 ft).
Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Thrust: 275.00 kN (61,822 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).
First Launch: 1964.06.15.
Last Launch: 1965.05.13.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
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
  • 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...

Associated Stages
  • Diamant-1 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 14,685/1,946 kg. Thrust 301.55 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 251 seconds. More...

Emeraude VE121 Chronology


1964 June 15 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Emeraude VE121. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1964 June 17 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Emeraude VE121. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1964 October 20 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Emeraude VE121. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1965 February 27 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Emeraude VE121.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1965 May 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Emeraude VE121.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

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