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Matagorda Island
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.

First Launch: 1981-08-05. Last Launch: 1982-09-09. Number: 2 . Location: Texas. Longitude: -96.4630 deg. Latitude: 28.3194 deg.

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



Family: Orbital Launch Site. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Aries, Percheron. Agency: SSI. Bibliography: 2, 9450.

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. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Aries.
  • Conestoga 1 test - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR, SSI. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). 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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