Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Skylark gets set for final launch

27.04.2005


Skylark, the one of the World’s longest running space programmes, will lift-off for the final time in a launch window starting on Saturday, April 30th. The launch of the 441st Skylark sounding rocket marks the end of 50 years of outstanding scientific research that has included investigations into atmospheric conditions, X-ray astronomy, land use and the effects of microgravity.



The Skylark sounding rocket has been a leading British success story since its design in the mid 1950s. The first Skylark was launched from Woomera, Australia, during the International Geophysical Year of 1957. The final Skylark mission, MASER 10, carries a suite of experiments to study the effects of microgravity, including a biological investigation of the protein, actin, and a study of interfacial turbulence in evaporating liquids. MASER 10 will be launched from the Esrange Site, near Kiruna in northern Sweden.

Hugh Whitfield, of Sounding Rocket Services Ltd, which has operated the Skylark programme since 1999, says, “Skylark is one of the most successful rocket programmes of all time, but this British achievement is largely unknown. We should be immensely proud of the contribution to science that Skylark has made and it is a testament to the skill of British engineers that the programme has lasted nearly half a century.”


Skylark rockets have been launched from Wales, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Sardinia, Spain and Sweden. Early experiments ranged from atmospheric studies to X-ray astronomy and research into the ionospheric interactions that cause aurorae. The rockets were popular with young scientific researchers, as it was possible for a PhD student to design a space experiment, launch it on a Skylark vehicle and write up the results in just three years. In recent years research has focused on microgravity experiments led by the German space agency, DLR, and testing equipment for Spacelab and the International Space Station.

The Skylark 7 that will be used for the final launch is a two-stage rocket that can carry a payload weighing 380 kilograms to an altitude of 230 kilometres. The Skylark 7 is powered by a “Goldfinch” boost stage and a “Raven XI” main stage motor.

Skylark was developed by the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Farnborough, in conjunction with the Rocket Propulsion Establishment, Westcott. The rocket motors, which were filled with a plastic propellant, were produced by Royal Ordnance Bridgewater and Westcott. Initially funded by the UK government, Skylark has been operated on a commercial basis since 1966, first by British Aerospace, then Matra Marconi Space, and finally Sounding Rocket Services Ltd. Although production of motors ended in November 1994, a stockpile has meant that Skylarks have continued to be launched at least once per year ever since.

Sounding Rocket Services now plan to become the European agent for the American built Oriole range of rockets and a supplier of hardware to the German/Brazlian VSB 30 vehicle.

Anita Heward | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ssc.se/default.asp?groupid=20041018114447733&pageid=2004122111174931

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
21.07.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion
21.07.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>