KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1809 times:
It really is a sad day. Skylark has been the most reliable and most used rocket into space, ever. It's closest competor, the Delta rocket, only has around 120 launches. The 440+ launches for Skylark will stand for a long time.
SATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1733 times:
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1): It really is a sad day. Skylark has been the most reliable and most used rocket into space, ever. It's closest competor, the Delta rocket, only has around 120 launches. The 440+ launches for Skylark will stand for a long time.
Your Delta launch count is shy about 170 launches!!
In 1971 Australia was only the 3rd country in the world to launch a satellite(WRESAT) from its own soil. It was a join US/UK/Australian venture as the rocket was a Redstone, but the satellite was built here.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1621 times:
It might have been different, but probably could not have been.
After the Blue Streak IRBM (liquid fuelled) was axed as a weapon in 1960, it was allowed to carry on as a potential satellite launcher, though officialdom could not see any application (this as Telstar was demonstrating satellites as a means of live intercontinental TV broadcasts).
A plan was approved where Blue Streak would be the 1st stage of a European launcher, France and Germany making the upper stages, with at least initial launches from Woomera.
But, though Blue Streak performed well, the upper stages kept on failing, this with economic pressure led to the UK pulling out in 1968.
We know that France, partnered by Germany and others, would eventually go on to build Ariane.
However, a team offered to make a small launcher, for a knock down price, they were allowed to do so.
In 1971, from Woomera, this Black Arrow rocket, (which could have the basis for UK upper stages for Blue Streak), launched the UK Prospero payload, which is still in orbit and should remain so until around 2040.
But Black Arrow, being so limited, was a dead end, in 1971 there was no market for small commercial satellites.
A decade later, it would be different, but the gap was too great in 1971, still also a economically stormy era about to get worse.
Since then, the main focus has been satellites and science, through the result of a long period of amalgamations at Astrium, and smaller niche players like Surrey Satellite Technology.