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Gauchito
Part of X-Prize Family
Argentinian manned spacecraft. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital ballistic spacecraft concept of Pablo De Leon of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Reached the stage of engineering tests by 2003.

Status: Study 2004.

Gauchito (Little Cowboy) was a concept of Pablo De Leon and Associates of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The vehicle would use a hybrid rocket powered vertical takeoff and parachute descent on water landing. Pablo de Leon was an experienced aerospace engineer, co-founder and president of the Argentine Association for Space Technology (AATE), and a graduate of the International Space University. The Gauchito was a clustered design made up of four hybrid engines producing a maximum acceleration of 3.5 G. The engines would burn until the vehicle reached an altitude of 34 km, followed by a coast to 120 km. After five minutes of weightlessness, the pilot was to orient the thermal shield for re-entry. The vehicle was recovered via parachute. De Leon flew a subscale test capsule to 30 km and conducted one-third scale rocket test firings. Testing of flight suits and other critical systems were conducted in May 2003 and a half-scale flight test of the Gauchito vehicle was conducted in June 2003.



Family: Manned spacecraft, Suborbital. Country: Argentina. Agency: Pablo De Leon.

2001 March 1 - .
  • Gauchito capsule drop test. - . Nation: Argentina. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Gauchito. Pablo de León (Buenos Aires, Argentina) performs a capsule drop test out of a Hercules C-130 aircraft from 54,000 feet..

2002 May 1 - .
  • Gauchito drop test. - . Nation: Argentina. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Gauchito. Pablo de León (Buenos Aires, Argentina) performs second capsule drop test from 96,000 feet..

2003 May 16 - .
  • Gauchito life support system tests. - . Nation: Argentina. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Gauchito.

    Pablo de León (Buenos Aires, Argentina tested his vehicle's life support systems, pressure suit, and environment controls using several high altitude glider flights to 30,000 feet using their space suit system. The suit also underwent several thermal tests in a cold chamber (-35 Centigrade) and external temperatures were sustained for more than 2 hours.


2003 June 11 - .
  • Gauchito half-scale vehicle test failure. - . Nation: Argentina. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Gauchito. Pablo de León (100 miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina) attempts flight test of half-scale X-Prize vehicle, but an explosion caused destruction of the vehicle before launch..


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