Black Arrow comes home

A place to post details relating to artificial satellite observations

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JohnM
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Re: Black Arrow comes home

Post by JohnM »

Hello Eva,

They did a test firing of a rocket on one of the Scottish estates recently. The problem with launches from the UK is that we are limited to polar orbits. The reason for this is a combination of the lower Earth Velocity due to being 50+ degrees North plus the problem of where the 1st and 2nd stages crash back to Earth. The US & ESA space ports are fairly easy they crash into the Atlantic. From the UK there is only land to the East - I guess even after we have left the EU there would be objections to crashing large pieces of rocket at high speed on Europe.

The problem of where stages 1 & 2 return to Earth was a big problem for the intermediate range nuclear missiles stationed in the UK. They were aimed so stage 1 fell in the North Sea and I believe the 2nd stage fell n Norway or Sweden.

The problems of launching from the UK is why the Black Arrow and other UK rockets were shipped to Australia for testing. I believe there are still the crumpled remains of some of the UK rockets three.
Data Miner & Amateur Astronomer
brian livesey
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Re: Black Arrow comes home

Post by brian livesey »

Some rockets have been launched at sea. Is there anything to stop them sailing down to,say,the Tropic of Cancer and launching from there?
brian
JohnM
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Re: Black Arrow comes home

Post by JohnM »

Brian,

As long as they stay in international waters and keep far away from the coasts so the 1st & 2nd stages do not land on someone's territory I don't think there would be a legal problem. The problems are more logistical and also the stability of the launch platform. They would probably need something like a semi-submersible oil rig platform as one of the private American companies did for their initial launches. The kerosene for the first stage will not be a problem to transport but I am not sure how you would transport or generate the liquid Hydrogen / Oxygen for the 3rd Stage. The second stage might be LOx or Kerosene and Oxygen - I can't remember which for instance the Apollo Saturn 5 used.

Of course Polaris missiles are actually launched from under the sea but I don't think they have the performance to get into orbit. I guess they are solid fuel rockets ?

John
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stella
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Re: Black Arrow comes home

Post by stella »

On 1998 July 7, Tubsat N & N1 were launched into a 79° inclination orbit from a submarine.
JohnM
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Re: Black Arrow comes home

Post by JohnM »

I guess two nanosats are a lot lighter than a ICBM warhead with multiple reentry bombs & decoys. I am not sure what the mass of a modern nuclear weapon is but they are relativity small the warhead I have seen had several decoys as well as an (unspecified) number of nuclear bombs. The warheads and bombs have to have similar flight characteristics so I guess they are of similar mass to the actual weapons ?

Keep Safe

John
Data Miner & Amateur Astronomer
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