Encyclopedia Astronautica
Topaze VE111


Topaze was the first guided rocket in the French 'precious stones' series. As such it was the first launched from a pad rather than a ramp. The initial model was the VE111C (short) with the NA802 motor.

Six successful VE111C flights successfully demonstrated the concept. The remaining four VE111C's were flown in the VE111CI version to demonstrate recovery from purposely-induced unstable conditions for the MSBS SLBM.

Payload: 410 kg (900 lb) to a 80 km altitude.

Gross mass: 2,900 kg (6,300 lb).
Payload: 410 kg (900 lb).
Height: 7.07 m (23.19 ft).
Diameter: 0.80 m (2.62 ft).
Thrust: 120.00 kN (26,970 lbf).
Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).
First Launch: 1962.12.19.
Last Launch: 1964.12.15.
Number: 10 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Soleil French solid rocket engine. 120 kN. 1500 kg Isolane propellant. Used on Topaze launch vehicle. First flight 1962. More...

See also
  • VE Series of Experimental Vehicles (VE's), each named after precious stones, leading to the MSBS/SSBS solid propellant missiles that made up the French nuclear deterrent. 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

Topaze VE111 Chronology


1962 December 19 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 March 22 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C4.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 March 28 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C7.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 June 21 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C9.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 June 27 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C8.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1963 October 24 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 C10.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 June 4 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 Ci1.
  • MSBS test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Summary: MSBS stability recovery test.

1964 October 21 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 Ci2.
  • MSBS test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Summary: MSBS stability recovery test.

1964 December 11 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 Ci3.
  • MSBS test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Summary: MSBS stability recovery test.

1964 December 15 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: VE. Launch Vehicle: Topaze VE111. LV Configuration: Topaze VE111 Ci4.
  • MSBS test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Summary: MSBS stability recovery test.

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