Encyclopedia Astronautica
Matagorda Island

Matagorda Island
Credit: © Mark Wade
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.

Minimum Inclination: 45.0 degrees. Maximum Inclination: 90.0 degrees.

Location: Texas.
Longitude: -96.4630 deg.
Latitude: 28.3194 deg.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Aries American target missile. Space Vector Corporation developed and flew the Aries test vehicle (based on the Minuteman 1 second stage) for Strategic Defence Initiative payloads. More...
  • 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. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • SSI American agency. Space Services Incorporated, USA. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Matagorda Island 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.

1982 September 9 - . 10:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Matagorda Island. Launch Vehicle: Aries. LV Configuration: Aries DLR M-AR-116.
  • Conestoga 1 test - . Nation: Germany. Agency: SSI; DLR. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Summary: Launch vehicle using surplus Minuteman I components. The launch from Matagorda Island for was for publicity purposes and unrelated to Space Service's other planned launch vehicles, also named Conestoga..

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