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Capricornio (model)

Capricornio was a project for a small spanish satellite launch vehicle by INTA.

It was a satellite launch vehicle with capacity to place microsats between 50 to 100 kg) into low Earth orbit (600 km). Different configurations were studied and finally a three-stage vehicle configuration was chosen, 18.25 m long, 1 m in diameter and with a mass of 15,000 kg.

Originally a configuration based on the Argentine Condor-2 missile. Finally the vehicle was based on the US built Castor-4B as stage 1, topped by Spanish built Deneb-F and Mizar-B solid rocket motors.

Launch sites for the project were initially El Arenosillo and later the Canaries island El Hierro.

The upper stages were to be tested as the Argo sounding rocket. The maiden flight in 1999 was to carry two payloads: The Spanish Nanosat and the Spanish-Mexican Venus.

Studies started in 1990 and development was suspended in 1998 due to lack of funds. The project was cancelled in 1999 (?).

Version Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Capricornio Castor-4B Deneb-F Mizar-B
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Capricornio 100 50 - - -