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British Old Space Launcher

robunos

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looks like an early image of Black Arrow, compare with this, from 'the Black Arrow Rocket', Douglas Millward, published by the Science Museum,

and originally from

'A small satellite launcher based on Black Knight technology' from the RAE, 1964.

Cheers,
Robin.
 

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Michel Van

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here is nice online video
Doku about black Arrow

http://www.space.co.uk/DataBank/VideoGallery/VideoPlayer/TabId/384/VideoId/63/Once-We-Had-A-Rocket.aspx
 

cardonet

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Information about space launchers projects based on Black Knight first stage

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD352495
 

RanulfC

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And the "alternative" concept using the larger Stentor (booster) chamber from the Blue Steel. (the Gamma 301 version was based on the smaller "cruise" engine of the Stentor)

Randy
 

RanulfC

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And as noted in the link above while the Black Arrow as a Space Launcher wasn't 'great' it was likely what they could afford to actually build despite the SLAVE's superiority and future potential :( Even assuming the availability of Stentor's from retiring Blue Steel missiles the development costs were going to be steep, and with America offering Scout, Thor and Delta...

Randy
 

CNH

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The real issue is with a satellite launcher is: what satellites do you want to launch?

One of the problems with any UK launcher was – what is it there to do? Okay, you can launch a few scientific satellites, but the proportion of the science budget that it would swallow up would be entirely disproportionate.

What other applications were there? Well, back in the 1960s, satellite communications were becoming almost a commercial proposition, providing your launcher can put a reasonable payload into geosynchronous orbit.

And none of those HTP launchers would have been able to do that.

Any other useful commercial applications in the 1960s?
 

RanulfC

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The real issue is with a satellite launcher is: what satellites do you want to launch?

One of the problems with any UK launcher was – what is it there to do? Okay, you can launch a few scientific satellites, but the proportion of the science budget that it would swallow up would be entirely disproportionate.

What other applications were there? Well, back in the 1960s, satellite communications were becoming almost a commercial proposition, providing your launcher can put a reasonable payload into geosynchronous orbit.

And none of those HTP launchers would have been able to do that.

Any other useful commercial applications in the 1960s?

Apperantly plenty since you're talking the same missions/payloads that Scout/Thor/Delta carried during the same time period. The main issues was the Black Arrow by sticking with the Gamma engines, (and being honest likely what they could realistically afford anyway) was stuck towards the low-end Thor/high-end Scout payloads whereas the SLAVE or up-grading with the larger Stentor boost chambers as a basis LV could be pushed upwards quite a bit.

The Brits were playing around with hydrogen engines at the same time the US was they just couldn't 'afford' to really do anything with the research or push to actual large scale engine development.

Randy
 

Zoo Tycoon

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The expensive bit of any rocket is the engines, so upon retirement of the Blue Steel there were 60-70 lovely Stentors paid for and available. The HTP tank design experience, fuel, component test, launch infrastructure, etc was all in place and paid for. What a crying shame they just scrapped the whole lot.

Not one of Penny’s better moments.
 
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RanulfC

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The expensive bit of any rocket is the engines, so upon retirement of the Blue Steel there were 60-70 lovely Stentors paid for and available. The HTP tank design experience, fuel, component test, launch infrastructure, etc was all in place and paid for. What a crying shame they just scrapped the whole lot.

Not one of Penny’s better moments.

Well the 'problem' was much older than that and it was because Britain didn't really have a 'space' program and things like Black Arrow were more "Technology Demonstrator" than a supposed operational launch vehicle. (Even though it was technically supposed to be so) The tiny payload did nothing to help so going with more powerful, (and it was assumed would end up cheaper) American LV's made sense.

Keep in mind there was another proposed British Space Launcher in the Black Prince, (http://www.spaceuk.org/bstreak/bs/bsslv.htm) but could be upgraded in various ways. (See below) The problem was money. They tried to get support from Canada and Australia but while Australia would provide the launch facilties Canada wasn't interested. So they had to look elsewhre and thus ELDO was formed and the Black Prince was reduced to the UK providing the Blue Streak as the booster stage of the LV and all HTP stages were dropped.

Now the Black Prince/Blue Streak as designed would have lofted between 150lb to 2,000lb to various LEO orbits With some mods and tank stretching that could have put somewhere around half that to GTO, (say around 1,000lbs) and it would go up if you added boosters or a higher energy upper stage such as a Centaur. (Proposed: http://www.spaceuk.org/bstreak/bs/bs_centaur.html) which would boost the basic payload to GEO to around a bit over 1400lbs, or between 1900lbs to 2300lbs depending on the number of boosters. Again some stretched tanks on the booster and better strap-on boosters help even more.

But again your problem is money, and commitment to spend same on a native launch vehicle.

Randy
 

CNH

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and it would go up if you added boosters or a higher energy upper stage such as a Centaur. (Proposed: http://www.spaceuk.org/bstreak/bs/bs_centaur.html) which would boost the basic payload to GEO to around a bit over 1400lbs, or between 1900lbs to 2300lbs depending on the number of boosters.

Randy

From the link you provide:

'Payload to geosynchronous orbit was given as 650-700kg with no boosters, 870-920 with 2 L17s, 1000-1050kg with 4 boosters grouped in 2 pairs.'
 

Grey Havoc

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Ramjet boosted satellite launch proposal for TSR.2 (part of submitted study document, 'Hypersonic vehicles with ram jet propulsion') PRO./TNA. DSIR 23/28801





Vulcan B.2 with Diamant
Valiant B.1 with Diamant





Avro Flight Corridor Research Aircraft




Avro Z.124 satellite launch vehicle
 

RanulfC

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and it would go up if you added boosters or a higher energy upper stage such as a Centaur. (Proposed: http://www.spaceuk.org/bstreak/bs/bs_centaur.html) which would boost the basic payload to GEO to around a bit over 1400lbs, or between 1900lbs to 2300lbs depending on the number of boosters.

Randy

From the link you provide:

'Payload to geosynchronous orbit was given as 650-700kg with no boosters, 870-920 with 2 L17s, 1000-1050kg with 4 boosters grouped in 2 pairs.'

Was using an auto-converter for the notes I was taking showed both, aka 650kg/1,433lb, 700kg/1,543lb etc. I rounded for my post.

But we'd also need to acknowledge that while Blue Streak/Centaur would be a good SLV, it's main 'competition' at some point would be the Atlas/Centaur which while un-reliable early on, (around when the BS/C would be attempting to operate so there's that issue as well) due to Centaur failures would end up putting a bit more into GEO, (about 2,268kg/5000lbs) versus what BS/C could do. Arguably not much point really unless they 'tweaked' the license built version enough to eliminate the problems BEFORE the US did :)
(Or used the RL10's in a different stage like was done in Saturn)

And again it all ends up being what they can logically afford and what amount of 'capability' they can get out of it...

Randy
 
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