trident3
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:10 am

Britain's Space Program

Mon May 02, 2005 2:57 am

Britain's independent space programme finally finishes this weekend. 50 years, and no one really knew about it. Sad really. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4502823.stm
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Britain's Space Program

Mon May 02, 2005 3:14 am

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
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:02 am

RE: Britain's Space Program

Mon May 02, 2005 5:45 am

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!!

http://www.boeing.com/history/mdc/delta.htm
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
AussieAMEgirl
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:58 pm

RE: Britain's Space Program

Mon May 02, 2005 9:14 am

I beleive that the British Space program started here in Australia at Woomera.

http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~woomera/

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.

Long Live the British Space Program!
 
trident3
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:10 am

RE: Britain's Space Program

Mon May 02, 2005 3:20 pm

Final launch was carried out at 06:30 this morning. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4504623.stm
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Britain's Space Program

Tue May 03, 2005 3:25 am

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.
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: Britain's Space Program

Tue May 03, 2005 5:21 am

It looks like something I built from a kit by Estes... Actual size even
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.

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