Encyclopedia Astronautica
Saphir



saphirse.jpg
Saphir
Credit: via Jean-Jacques Serra
French orbital launch vehicle. Saphir was the penultimate step in the 'precious stones' series. The variants of the two-stage vehicle were designed to allow testing of radio-controlled guidance (VE231P), inertial guidance (VE231G), and warhead separation and re-entry of an ablative RV (VE231R). Addition of a third stage would transform Saphir into the Diamant satellite launcher.

Payload: 365 kg (804 lb) to a 1000 km altitude. Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1965-07-10. Last Fail Date: 1966-12-02.

AKA: Saphir VE231; VE231.
Gross mass: 18,058 kg (39,811 lb).
Payload: 365 kg (804 lb).
Height: 17.77 m (58.30 ft).
Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft).
Thrust: 280.00 kN (62,940 lbf).
Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).
First Launch: 1965.07.05.
Last Launch: 1967.01.27.
Number: 15 .

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...
  • Diamant-2 N2O4/UDMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,815/540 kg. Thrust 120.08 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 255 seconds. More...

Saphir Chronology


1965 July 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 P1.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1965 July 10 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 P2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1965 October 9 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 P3.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,150 km (710 mi).

1966 March 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G1.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 March 18 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G2.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 March 28 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R2.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 April 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R1.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 June 23 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R4.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 October 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R3.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 October 28 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G3.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 November 2 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G4.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 December 2 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R5. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1966 December 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 R6.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1967 January 19 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G5.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1967 January 27 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir. LV Configuration: Saphir VE231 G6.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use