Astérix, the first French satellite, was launched on November 26, 1965 by a Diamant A rocket from Hammaguir, Algeria. With Astérix, France became the sixth country to have an artificial satellite in orbit after: USSR (Sputnik 1, 1957), the United States (Explorer 1, 1958), the United Kingdom (Ariel 1, 1962), Canada (Alouette 1, 1962) and Italy (San Marco 1, 1964), and the third to launch a satellite on its own (the UK, Canada and Italy's satellites were launched on American rockets). The satellite was originally designated A-1, as the French Army's first satellite, but later renamed after the popular French comics character Astérix. Due to the relatively high altitude of its orbit, it is not expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere for several centuries.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in brackets.
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