Encyclopedia Astronautica
Percheron


American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Low cost commercial test vehicle. First test failed and satellite launch project sank for lack of further investors and customers.

The vehicle was funded by Space Services, Inc of Houston, Texas and was built by GCH, Inc (Gary C. Hudson). The booster featured a modular design using liquid oxygen-kerosene stages 18 m long and 1.2 m in diameter, with an engine producing 27,300 kgf of thrust.

Failures: 1. Success Rate: 0.00%. First Fail Date: 1981-08-05. Last Fail Date: 1981-08-05. Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 1981.
Height: 18.00 m (59.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.20 m (3.90 ft).
Thrust: 588.00 kN (132,187 lbf).
First Launch: 1981.08.05.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • LCLV Various independently-funded launch vehicles have been advocated, designed, and even developed over the years. A lot of these are attempts to build low-cost launch vehicles using simpler technology. Often such projects begin based on a low cost liquid fuel technology but end up just trying to sell various combinations of Castor solid fuel stages. These enterprises often discover there's more to coming up with a reliable launch vehicle than slashing together a bunch of 'off the shelf' rocket motors and lighting the fuse.... On the other hand, if there is ever a breakthrough in less expensive access to space, it will come through one of these entrepreneurial schemes... More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Krebs, Gunter, Gunter's Space Page, University of Frankfurt, 1996. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Matagorda Island Launch site for sounding rockets and commercial launch vehicles. Good site for southerly launches into a variety of orbits but no tracking facilities. Known to have been used for at least 2 launches in 1981 - 1982. More...

Percheron Chronology


1981 August 5 - . Launch Site: Matagorda Island. Launch Vehicle: Percheron. FAILURE: Exploded on launch pad due to liquid oxygen tank overpressurization.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Percheron Research and Development Flight - . Nation: USA. Decay Date: 1981-08-05 . COSPAR: F810805A. Failure of a liquid oxygen valve led to the oxidiser tank over-pressurising, collapse of the liquid oxygen to kerosene tank bulkhead; intermixing of the propellants, and finally an on-pad explosion without lift-off. The vehicle was funded by Space Services, Inc of Houston, Texas and was built by GCH, Inc (Gary C. Hudson). The booster featured a modular design using liquid oxygen-kerosene stages 18 m long and 1.2 m in diameter, with an engine producing 27,300 kgf of thrust.

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