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Suborbital Vehicles: VEHRA (VéHicule Hypersonique RéUtilisable AéRoporté) Family

Dassault Aviation is studying a reusable space transportation system to launch satellites into low Earth orbit. It comprises an airborne reusable hypersonic vehicle and a subsonic carrier aircraft. The use of the technique of airborne launch offers an increase of performance with regard to the launch from the ground and allows to free itself from the heaviest constraints of the launch infrastructures. VEHRA family comprises three vehicles:

VEHRA “Light” (10 t) : technological demonstrator;
VEHRA “Medium” (30 t) : to inject small payloads (250 kg) into low Earth orbit;
VEHRA “Heavy” (200 t) : to launch 7t into low Earth orbit;

Moreover, a manned version is also proposed to carry six people up to 100 km of altitude.

Release of a satellite from Vehra's payload bay