The Argentine Project for the X Prize Cup

The 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.

The “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 ways.

We hope that you will find these pages useful in learning more about this project.


© Copyright Pablo de León and Associates 2012