The A-1 (Arm'ees 1) satellite, named after launch Ast'erix after Ast'erix le Gaulois, a well known comic book superhero, was the first French satellite and the first satellite to be launched by a nation other than the US and the USSR with the use of its own launch vehicle. The Diamant launch vehicle was developed by SEREB from the Saphir ballistic missile reentry test rocket. The Ast'erix programme was a joint venture between CNES and the DMA. A-1 was built by SEREB and Matra for DMA as a techonology satellite, and its only payload was a radio transmitter. Several A-1 class capsules were launched on Rubis test rockets prior to the orbital launch. The Diamant A rocket took off from pad Brigitte at France's Hammaguir range in Algeria on 1965 Nov 26 and placed the satellite in a 527 x 1808 km orbit. Ast'erix was intended to transmit for 2 days but its antennae were damaged during launch and no signals were received. Mass of Asterix was 42 kg.
|1965 Nov 26||1447||Launch by Diamant A||HMG|
|108.6 527 x 1808 x 34.2|
|1965 Nov 26||End of transmissions|