Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kapani Tonneo



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Otrag Zaire
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Shaba North
Location of Shaba North
Credit: © Mark Wade
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OTRAG Congo Launch S
In December 1975 Otrag signed an agreement with the Congolese government to established a rocket range to test its low-cost rockets deep in the interior at Shaba (Katanga) province. The austere site included logistic support via antique British Argosy transports landing at a dirt strip on a plateau overlooking the jungle. Here a pad and gantry were erected and flight tests began in 1977. However Otrag's activities made the great powers nervous. The USSR was not interested in Germany achieving an indigenous long-range rocket activity. The government of the Congo was pressured by the USSR to withdraw permission to use the site. Otrag was thrown out of the country in April 1979.

AKA: OTRAG Zaire; Shaba North.
Location: Shaba.
Longitude: 28.5277 deg.
Latitude: -7.9259 deg.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Otrag $200 million was spent from 1975-1987 by Lutz Kayer in a serious attempt to develop a low-cost satellite launcher using clusters of mass-produced pressure-fed liquid propellant modules. The project was finally squelched by the German government under pressure from the Soviet and French. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Otrag German manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Orbital Transport-und-Raketen Aktiengesellschaft, Germany. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Serra, Jean-Jacques, Rockets in Europe, Web Address when accessed: here.

Kapani Tonneo Chronology


1977 May 18 - . 08:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapani Tonneo. Launch Vehicle: Otrag. LV Configuration: OTRAG 1 4x9m.
  • Otrag Flight 1 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: OTRAG. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi). Summary: Four-module test vehicle, 6 m long. Propulsion test. Reached 20 km altitude. 100% successful..

1978 May 19 - . 22:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapani Tonneo. Launch Vehicle: Otrag. LV Configuration: OTRAG 2 4x9m.
  • Otrag Flight 2 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: OTRAG. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi). Summary: Four-module test vehicle, 6 m long. High altitude night test. Reached 150 km altitude..

1978 June 5 - . 11:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapani Tonneo. Launch Vehicle: Otrag. LV Configuration: OTRAG 3a. FAILURE: Failure. Heeled over and crashed after a few seconds.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Otrag Flight 3 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: OTRAG. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Four module test vehicle, 12 m long. Pitch and yaw control test. Attempt to reach 100 km, but veered off course on launch due to a valve on one unit being stuck at 50% thrust..

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