Encyclopedia Astronautica

French air-launched rocketplane. Dassault design for an air-launched experimental reusable launch vehicle. It would be launched from Novespace's Airbus 300 zero-G aircraft. The lifting-body design was loosely based on Dassault's work on the NASA-led X-38 Crew Rescue Vehicle program. VEHRA weighed 6.5 t tonnes and carried 19.5 tonnes of kerosene and oxygen propellant. One Russian 400.5 kN-thrust NK-39 engine would power the vehicle, which would be capable of reaching Mach 14. The 11.5 meter long vehicle also contained a small 1.5 x 1.5 x 5 meter payload bay for an expendable upper stage+250 kg satellite. Like THEMIS, VEHRA would explore hypersonic flight and the operational and cost aspects of reusability.

LEO Payload: 250 kg (550 lb) to a 185 km orbit at 45.00 degrees.

Status: Study 2000.
Gross mass: 27,000 kg (59,000 lb).
Payload: 250 kg (550 lb).
Height: 11.50 m (37.70 ft).
Diameter: 1.50 m (4.90 ft).
Thrust: 400.00 kN (89,920 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

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Associated Countries
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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Dassault French manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Dassault Aircraft, France. More...

  • Lindroos, Marc, Marc Lindroos' Space Pages, Web Address when accessed: here.

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