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 Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>