Vehiculo Espacial Suborbital Argentino (VESA), or Argentine
Space Suborbital Vehicle, is the only current Argentine
entry in the emerging X Prize Cup competition. Also
known as the “Gauchito,” VESA will be a
human-rated suborbital space vehicle with numerous potential
applications such as research and space tourism. As
a response to the creation of the Ansari X Prize, the
VESA project began in February 1997 when a group of
Argentine space specialists was assembled by Pablo de
Leon to compete in this very challenging competition.
The “Gauchito” is a vertical launched rocket,
powered by 4 hybrid rocket engines. During a typical
suborbital flight from Argentina, the rocket launches
a conical capsule to an altitude of more than 100 kilometers
(300,000 feet) at which point the capsule separates
from the launch vehicle and descends by parachute to
the South Atlantic Ocean.
The “Gauchito” was designed to be built
with the technologies and materials found within Argentina.
Following the successful completion of the flight test
program, the goal of the project is to turn “Gauchito”
into a human-rated reusable suborbital vehicle. The
“Gauchito” project is a challenging and
ambitious endeavor, where team members dedicate significant
time and resources for the continuing progress and ultimate
success of the project.
“Gauchito” team is composed by engineers,
university professors, medical doctors, machinists,
technicians, computer specialists, designers and enthusiasts
who contribute to the project in a variety of different
hope that you will find these pages useful in learning
more about this project.