| General Information
Number Flown (Failures):
|Société pour l’Etude et la Réalisation
d’Engins Balistiques (SEREB)
pour l’Armement (DMA)
November 25, 1965
Gross Lift-off Mass:
Storable first stage,
solid upper stages
| The Diamant A
vehicle was first proposed by SEREB on December 23, 1960,
as a follow-on to the two-stage Saphir test vehicle by
adding a third stage to reach orbital velocity. The program was
approved by the French government on November 16, 1961.
Ministry of Defense’s DMA was in charge of the program with
the newly-created French space agency, CNES, providing a FF54-million contribution
to the program. SEREB and DMA were already responsible for the
development of the ‘Precious
Stones‘ series of test vehicles.
The Diamant A’s solid third
stage was flight-tested on eight flights of the Rubis test
vehicle from June 1964 to September 1965.
its maiden test flight, on November 25, 1965, the Diamant A
lofted the A-1 "Astérix" to orbit, making France
the third country to achieve satellite launching capability.
However, A-1’s antennas were damaged at fairing jettison and
its signal was weak. The Diamant A launched the Diapason
research satellite in February 1966 and two Diadème geodesic
satellites in February 1967 before it was retired in favor of
the more capable Diamant B.
on the history of the Diamant and Precious Stones family (soon
| Payload Performances
|From Centre Interarmées d’Essais
|Low Earth Orbit
x 1,250 km, 30°)
x 730 km, 30°)