Diamant ("diamond") A reached orbit at the first attempt in November 1965 carrying the Asterix (A-1) satellite. Three further flights in 1966–67, all from Hammaguira in the Sahara, launched the D1 geodesy satellites, including the twin Diadémes and Diapason. Diamant B, with its lengthened first stage and, in the case of the later B4 variant, a modified second stage, launched nine times (including two failures) and placed DIAL-WIKA and -MIKA, Peole, Tournesol, and several other satellites in orbit. All Diamant B launches were from the Guiana Space Centre – the site now used by ESA (European Space Agency).
After 1975 France stopped its sounding rocket and national launcher programs to concentrate on developing the European Ariane launcher.
Related categories ROCKETS, MISSILES, AND LAUNCH VEHICLES
FRANCE IN SPACE
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