The VS-40 (Foguete Suborbital VS-40) is a Brazilian sounding rocket using solid fuel, stabilized aerodynamically, distributed between the first stage S40TM (4,200 kg) engine and the second stage S44M (810 kg) engine.[2][3] This configuration corresponds to the upper stages of the VLS-1 rocket.

VS-40 (Foguete Suborbital VS-40)
VS-40 rocket on display in Brasília
FunctionSounding rocket
ManufacturerInstituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço
Country of originBrazil
Height9.50 m (31.10 ft)
Diameter1.01 m (3.31 ft)
Mass6,800 kg (14,900 lb)
Payload to LEO500 kg (650 km)
Launch history
Launch sitesCentro de Lançamento de Alcântara, Andøya Rocket Range, Centro de Lançamento da Barreira do Inferno
Total launches3
First flight2 April 1993
First stage - S40TM
Engines1 Solid
Thrust208.39 kN (46,848 lbf)
Specific impulse275 s (2.70 kN·s/kg)
Burn time56 seconds
Second stage S44M
Engines1 Solid
Thrust33.24 kN
Specific impulse282 s
Burn time68 seconds


  • VS-40 PT-01 - "Operação Santa Maria" - 1993/04/02 - Qualifying flight for the S44 engine. 760 seconds in micro-gravity.
  • VS-40 PT-02 - "Operação Livramento" - 1998/03/21 - VAP-1 (Fokker) payload.
  • VS-40M / SHEFEX II - 2012/06/22[5][6] - SHEFEX (Sharp Edge Flight Experiment) II payload.
  • VS-40M / V03 - "Operação São Lourenço" - 2015/11/13 - SARA - Satélite de Reentrada Atmosférica (Atmospheric Reentry Satellite) Suborbital 1 [7][8][9] - Failure (exploded on pad)[1]
  • VS-40M - in development - HIFiRE 8[4]
  • VS-40M - in development - SARA Suborbital 2


  • Length (mm) 6725
  • Payload Mass (kg) 500
  • Diameter (mm) 1000
  • Total takeoff mass (kg) 6,737
  • Mass of propellant (kg) 5,054
  • Structural mass (kg) 1,028
  • Apogee (km) 650
  • Microgravity time (s) 760


  1. Brasileira, Força Aérea. "Projeto SARA continua, afirma Diretor de Ciência e Tecnologia Aeroespacial". Força Aérea Brasileira.
  2. "IAE - Página inicial". www.iae.cta.br.
  3. "Encyclopedia Astronautica Index: 1". www.astronautix.com.
  4. "S-40 Family". space.skyrocket.de.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-06-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "IAE - Página inicial". www.iae.cta.br.
  7. "ANÁLISE DA ESTRUTURA INTERNA DO MÓDULO DE EXPERIMENTOS DO SARA SUBORBITAL" (PDF). www.inicepg.univap.br. 2008. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  8. "Alcântara sedia encontro que discute atividade espacial no País". Governo do Brasil.
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