Encyclopedia Astronautica
Monica


French low-cost, three-stage, solid-propellant sounding rocket developed in France in the 1950's in support of the International Geophysical Year.

In 1952 France's CASDN (Comité d'Action Scientifique de Défense Nationale) ordered 15 Veronique sounding rockets through DEFA (Direction des Etudes et Fabrications d'Armement) for use during the International Geophysical Year. Budget cutbacks led to delays in the Veronique program, and in 1954 CASDN turned to ATEF company (Association Technique pour l'Etude des Fusees) to develop a low-cost, three-stage, solid-propellant alternative using the existing SEPR-35 sounding rocket design as a starting point. The SEPR-35's stage and stabilizing fin scheme was used as the starting point, but three solid rocket motors using newer-technology propellants were developed: the Melanie, using Plastolite for the booster; and Theodore and Oreste, using Epictete propellant for upper stages. The names of the stages formed into the acronym Meteo, by which the rocket was known at the time the first order for 50 ATEF-14 rockets was issued.. During the third launch campaign in June 1955, the rocket was renamed Monica.

A follow-on order for 15 rockets in 1956 was for new versions with larger upper stages, dubbed the Monica IV and V.

Failures: 2. Success Rate: 91.30%. First Fail Date: 1962-12-07. Last Fail Date: 1962-12-07. Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 1963.
Gross mass: 100 kg (220 lb).
Height: 6.00 m (19.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.16 m (0.52 ft).
Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).
First Launch: 1955.02.25.
Last Launch: 1963.05.29.
Number: 23 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Monica French low-cost, three-stage, solid-propellant sounding rocket developed in France in the 1950's in support of the International Geophysical Year. More...

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

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