Astris (rocket stage)


Europa Upper Stage University of Stuttgart.jpg
Astris, the third (upper) stage of the Europa I rocket, on display in Pfaffenwaldring 31 (V 31) on the campus of University of Stuttgart in Vaihingen, Stuttgart, Germany.
ManufacturerERNO Raumfahrttechnik GmbH[1]
Country of originGermany
Used onEuropa 1 third stage.
General characteristics
Height3.36 m (132 in)[2]
Diameter2.00 m (79 in)[2]
Gross mass3,370 kg (7,430 lb)[2]
Propellant mass2,760 kg (6,080 lb)[2]
Empty mass610 kg (1,340 lb)[2]
Launch history
Total launches4
(stage only)
Lower stage
First flight1969-07-31
Last flight1971-11-05
Engine details
Engines1 Astris (rocket engine)[3]
Thrust23.3 kilonewtons (5,200 lbf)
Specific impulse310 s (3.0 km/s)
Burn time330s[4]
PropellantAerozine 50 / N2O4

The Astris was an upper stage developed by ERNO Raumfahrttechnik GmbH and MBB as the third stage of the Europa 1 launch vehicle. It was the German contribution to the project and only flew activated four times. The high failure rate of the three and four stage rocket meant that the project was cancelled.[2][5]

On November 29, 1968, its inaugural flight, the Astris third stage exploded. On the second attempt on July 1969, the Astris engine failed to start. On the third attempt on June 11, 1970, the stage performed correctly, but the fairing failed to separate.[4] On November 5, 1971, the Europa II launched from CSG ELA-1, had a mishap due to structural failure of the third stage. After this last failure the project was definitely cancelled.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Propulsion Systems and Launch Vehicles". Deutsches Museum. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Astris (Stage)". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  3. ^ "Astris (Engine)". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  4. ^ a b "Europa (launch vehicle)". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  5. ^ Serra, Jean-Jacques. "Europa launchers". Retrieved 2015-07-25.
  6. ^ "Europa II(launch vehicle)". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2015-07-25.