Astérix (satellite)

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Asterix Musee du Bourget P1020341.JPG
Replica of Astérix at Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris Le Bourget
Mission typeTechnology
Harvard designation1965-096A
COSPAR ID1965-096A
SATCAT no.1778
Mission duration111 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass42.0 kilograms (92.6 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date26 November 1965, 09:52 (1965-11-26UTC09:52Z) UTC
RocketDiamant A
Launch siteHammaguir Brigitte/A
End of mission
Last contact28 November 1965 (1965-11-29)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis7,468.0 kilometres (4,640.4 mi)
Perigee527 kilometres (327 mi)
Apogee1,697 kilometres (1,054 mi)
Inclination34.30 degrees
Period107.5 minutes
EpochNovember 26, 1965

Astérix, the first French satellite, was launched on November 26, 1965 by a Diamant A rocket from the CIEES launch site at Hammaguir, French Algeria. With Astérix, France became the sixth country to have an artificial satellite in orbit after the 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).[1]

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.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Asterix". Astronautix.
  2. ^ Wilson, Steve (November 26, 2012). "Asterix". Space Archaeology. Retrieved 27 April 2018.

External links[edit]