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Europa I
Part of Blue Streak Family
Europa
Europa
Credit: © Mark Wade
European orbital launch vehicle. Europe's first space launcher. The first stage was a British Blue Streak IRBM, the second stage the French Coralie, and the third stage the German Astris. All orbital launch attempts failed due to unreliability of the third stage. The project was cancelled after withdrawal of British support and replaced by the Ariane.

AKA: ELDO A;Europa. Status: Retired 1971. First Launch: 1967-08-04. Last Launch: 1970-06-12. Number: 5 . Payload: 200 kg (440 lb). Thrust: 1,500.00 kN (337,200 lbf). Gross mass: 104,670 kg (230,750 lb). Height: 33.00 m (108.00 ft). Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft).

The first pan-European attempt to develop its own launch vehicle capability was done under the auspices of ELDO - the European Launcher Development Organisation. The already-developed but-cancelled British MRBM, the Blue Streak, would be the first stage. France would develop the second stage, Germany the third stage, Italy the nose fairing, and Holland and Belgium tracking systems. Non-European Australia was allowed to be a member in exchange for use of the Blue Streak launch facilities at Woomera.

The plan was for the Europa launcher to be tested in three phases:

  • Phase 1 would consist of three flights of the Blue Streak only. These would test the Blue Streak modifications and some guidance/tracking/telemetry systems. These suborbital tests would be launched northwest to an impact zone near Talgarno in Western Australia. These initial tests were successful.
  • Phase 2 would consist of three suborbital flights of the three-stage vehicle. These would begin with only the Blue Streak being active, with the other stages being dummies to test the aerodynamic configuration. Then an active second stage would be added, then an active third stage. These would be launched northerly to an impact area in the Simpson Desert in the Northern Territory.
  • Phase 3 involved four northerly launches into orbit. These were to bring the vehicle to operational status by 1970.

In the event, after the three Blue Streak-only tests, the rest of the project was a disaster. While the Blue Streak remained reliable, the second or third stage failed on every subsequent test. A fourth Phase 2 launch was made in order to compensate for the failures. The final attempt, using a four-stage Europa-II configuration, brought the curtain down on the program.

The British government had lost interest in the project, and the unaugmented Blue Streak offered limited possibilities for vehicle growth. With British interest waning, the launch site had already been moved to French Guiana. After some death throes, the British virtually abandoned spaceflight work, and ELDO was folded. The French led a new pan-European project to develop the very successful Ariane commercial launch vehicle.

LEO Payload: 200 kg (440 lb). Payload: 200 kg (440 lb) to a GEO. Flyaway Unit Cost 1985$: 17.000 million.

Stage Data - Europa

  • Stage 1. 1 x Europa-1. Gross Mass: 89,406 kg (197,106 lb). Empty Mass: 6,997 kg (15,425 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,672.671 kN (376,031 lbf). Isp: 282 sec. Burn time: 156 sec. Isp(sl): 248 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 3.80 m (12.40 ft). Length: 18.75 m (61.51 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 2. Engine: RZ.2. Other designations: Blue Streak, ELDO-1. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Europa-2. Gross Mass: 11,894 kg (26,221 lb). Empty Mass: 2,099 kg (4,627 lb). Thrust (vac): 274.000 kN (61,597 lbf). Isp: 277 sec. Burn time: 96 sec. Isp(sl): 240 sec. Diameter: 2.00 m (6.50 ft). Span: 2.00 m (6.50 ft). Length: 5.70 m (18.70 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 4. Engine: Vexin A. Other designations: Coralie. Status: Out of Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Europa-3. Gross Mass: 3,370 kg (7,420 lb). Empty Mass: 610 kg (1,340 lb). Thrust (vac): 23.330 kN (5,245 lbf). Isp: 310 sec. Burn time: 330 sec. Isp(sl): 260 sec. Diameter: 2.00 m (6.50 ft). Span: 2.00 m (6.50 ft). Length: 3.36 m (11.02 ft). Propellants: N2O4/Aerozine-50. No Engines: 1. Engine: Astris. Other designations: Astris. Status: Out of Production.


More at: Europa I.

Family: Europa, orbital launch vehicle. Country: Europe. Engines: Astris engine, RZ.2, Vexin A. Spacecraft: STV, STV 4. Launch Sites: Woomera, Woomera LA6A. Stages: Astris, Europa-1, Europa-2. Agency: ELDO. Bibliography: 126, 18, 2, 279, 34, 572.
Photo Gallery

Europa EngineEuropa Engine


Europa Third StageEuropa Third Stage



1961 January 30 - . LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I.
  • Europa conference. - . Nation: Europe. Conference of 12 European nations held at Strasbourg to discuss a British and French proposal for a European satellite launcher development program..

1961 November 3 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I.
  • Woomera selected for Europa launches. - . Nation: Europe. Nine-nation Western European Conference in London announced decision to launch a satellite in mid-1965, using a British Blue Streak first stage, a French Veronique second stage, and a West German third stage, from the Woomera range in Australia..

1967 August 4 - . 03:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Active first and second stages with dummy third stage and satellite. - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1967 December 4 - . 21:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Active first and second stages with dummy third stage and satellite. - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 November 29 - . 23:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Third stage exploded.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • STV 1 / Europa F-7 - . Mass: 249 kg (548 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STV. Decay Date: 1968-11-30 . Apogee: 230 km (140 mi). First attempt by ELDO to launch a satellite to orbit. Satellite Test Vehicle payload..

1969 July 2 - . 22:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Third stage failed.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Europa F-8 / STV 2 - . Payload: STV 2. Mass: 249 kg (548 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STV. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1970 June 12 - . 01:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Payload fairing failed to separate.. Failed Stage: S.
  • Europa F-9 / STV 3 - . Mass: 249 kg (548 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STV. Decay Date: 1970-06-12 . COSPAR: F700612A. Apogee: 2,000 km (1,200 mi).


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