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Saphir VE231
Part of Diamant Family
Saphir
Saphir
Credit: via Jean-Jacques Serra
Saphir was the penultimate step in the 'precious stones' series. The variants of the two-stage vehicle were designed to allow testing of radio-controlled guidance (VE231P), inertial guidance (VE231G), and warhead separation and re-entry of an ablative RV (VE231R). Addition of a third stage would transform Saphir into the Diamant satellite launcher.

AKA: Saphir;VE231. Status: Retired 1967. First Launch: 1965-07-05. Last Launch: 1967-01-27. Number: 15 . Payload: 365 kg (804 lb). Thrust: 280.00 kN (62,940 lbf). Gross mass: 18,058 kg (39,811 lb). Height: 17.77 m (58.30 ft). Diameter: 1.40 m (4.50 ft). Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Emeraude + 1 x Topaze.

Payload: 365 kg (804 lb) to a 1000 km altitude.



Family: orbital launch vehicle. Country: France. Launch Sites: Hammaguira, Hammaguira Brigitte. Stages: Diamant-1, Diamant-2. Agency: SEREB.

1965 July 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1965 July 10 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1965 October 9 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,150 km (710 mi).

1966 March 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 March 18 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 March 28 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 April 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 June 23 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 October 5 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 October 28 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 November 2 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 December 2 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1966 December 13 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1967 January 19 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1967 January 27 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Brigitte. LV Family: Diamant. Launch Vehicle: Saphir VE231.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).


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