Small class, two stage, expendable launch vehicle designed to provide commercial
satellite launch services to inclined, polar and sun-synchronous low Earth orbits.

Origin & Status

Republic of South Africa, Development by MARCOM Aeronautics & Space (Pty)

Estimated Launch Price

Cheetah-1 US$ 6-8 million

Performance Summary

200 km (108 nmi), 34 deg 1000 kg (2205 lbm)
200 km (108 nmi), 90 deg 650 kg (1433 lbm)
Space Station Orbit 407 km (220 nmi), 51.6 deg 810 kg (1786 lbm)
Sun-Synchronous Orbit: 800 km (432 nmi), 98.6 deg 439 kg (968 lbm)
Available Inclinations: 34 – 117 deg

Flight Record

Total Orbital Flights 0
Expected Flight Rate 1 – 4 (per year planned)
Payload Accommodations
Useable Diameter 1.6 m
Useable Cylindrical Length 2.4 m
Useable Conical Length 1.8 m
Maximum Axial Acceleration 6.5 g
Maximum Lateral Acceleration 2.0 g


Two stages, each incorporating a regeneratively cooled, turbo-pump driven liquid
rocket engine operating on a gas generator thermodynamic cycle. Burning a
mixture of liquid oxygen and refined Kerosene, the first stage booster engine is
designed to produce 86 tons of thrust at sea level and incorporates hydraulic thrust
vector control for pitch, yaw and roll control. The second stage, sustainer engine is
designed to 5.8 tons of vaccum thrust and is similarly steerable via electromechanical


Dual redundant flight control computers, receiving navigation data from dual
redundant strap-down inertial navigations systems provide vehicle ascent control.
Real time telemetry data, flight termination and ground tracking systems provide for
reliability and safety of the system during ascent.