What it is Edit

The VLS-1 (Portuguese: Veículo Lançador de Satélites) is the Brazilian Space Agency's main satellite launch vehicle. The launch vehicle will be capable of launching satellites into orbit. The launch site is located at the Alcântara Launch Centre due to its proximity to the equator.

History Edit

VLS-1 development started in 1984, after the first launch of the Sonda IV rocket. To date, three prototypes have been built and two launches attempted, departing from the Alcântara Launch Center. During the V1 and V2 prototype launches (VLS-1 V1 and VLS-1 V2) technical problems prevented mission success, but allowed the testing of several vehicle components. The V3 prototype exploded on the launch pad on 22 August 2003, two days before its intended launch date. The 2003 Alcântara VLS accident caused a considerable setback to the Brazilian space program.

More info Edit

Function Orbital launch vehicle

Manufacturer CTA

Country of origin Brazil


Height 19.5 m (63.9 ft)

Diameter 1.01 m (3.31 ft)

Mass 50,700 kg (111,700 lb)

Stages 3


Payload to LEO 380 kg (830 lb)

Launch history

Status Active

Launch sites Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara

Total launches 2

Failures 2

First flight 2 November 1997

Boosters - S-43

No. boosters 4

Engines 1 Solid

Thrust 303 kN (68,100 lbf )

Specific impulse 225 s (2.21 kN·s/kg)

Burn time 59 seconds

Fuel Solid

First stage - S-43TM

Engines 1 Solid

Thrust 320.6 kN (72,074 lbf)

Specific impulse 277 s (2.72 kN·s/kg)

Burn time 58 seconds

Fuel Solid

Second stage - S-40TM

Engines 1 Solid

Thrust 208.39 kN (46,848 lbf)

Specific impulse 275 s (2.70 kN·s/kg)

Burn time 56 seconds

Fuel Solid

Third stage - S-44

Engines 1 Solid

Thrust 33.24 kN (7,473 lbf)

Specific impulse 282 s (2.77 kN·s/kg)

Burn time 68 seconds

Fuel Solid

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