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Van Lady

Rockets to be launched in Scottish Highlands?

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http://www.scotsman.com/regions/inverness-highlands-islands/remote-highland-peninsula-earmarked-for-satellite-launchpad-1-4498984

A consortium, which includes US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, believe that the A’Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland would be the ideal location in Britain from which satellites could be launched into orbit. A detailed proposal for the facility - located between Dounreay and Cape Wrath - has been submitted to the UK Space Agency (UKSA) which has met with Highland council and Highlands and Islands Entreprise (HIE) to discuss the plans. The Scottish base - which could be operational by 2020 - would be the first to launch a rocket into space from UK soil.

 

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6 minutes ago, whitevanman said:

If I remember rightly rockets are best launched from near to the equator as they get an extra boost of speed from the rotation of the Earth. Scotland seems like an odd choice of launch site. 

I am going to call bluff on that one.

But I am not a rocket scientist.

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12 minutes ago, whitevanman said:

If I remember rightly rockets are best launched from near to the equator as they get an extra boost of speed from the rotation of the Earth. Scotland seems like an odd choice of launch site. 

 

Yes, at the equator the Earth is actually spinning faster. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but the Earth actually spins faster at the equator compared to the poles.

Virtually every country in the West now has plans to build a rocket launch site due to the commerical opportunities. Everyone is trying to get in on the act and the UK is a tad late to this.

You can launch further away from the equator but it costs you more to get a rocket into space - you either need bigger, more expensive rockets or you have to have smaller payloads. Considering that there is quite a rapidly growing market in satellites as small as, or smaller, than a microwave oven there is a lot of money to be made in getting them into space.

satellite-comparison.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Economic Exile said:

http://www.scotsman.com/regions/inverness-highlands-islands/remote-highland-peninsula-earmarked-for-satellite-launchpad-1-4498984

A consortium, which includes US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, believe that the A’Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland would be the ideal location in Britain from which satellites could be launched into orbit. A detailed proposal for the facility - located between Dounreay and Cape Wrath - has been submitted to the UK Space Agency (UKSA) which has met with Highland council and Highlands and Islands Entreprise (HIE) to discuss the plans. The Scottish base - which could be operational by 2020 - would be the first to launch a rocket into space from UK soil.

 

Hope this happens, would love to see a live rocket launch. Went to the Kennedy Space Centre last year, no launches while we were in Florida but I'm now on their mailing list and they keep emailing me about their latest launches...bastards.

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18 minutes ago, whitevanman said:

If I remember rightly rockets are best launched from near to the equator as they get an extra boost of speed from the rotation of the Earth. Scotland seems like an odd choice of launch site. 

Yep. Kourou in French Guiana is the ESA go-to Ariana launch site. 

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1 minute ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yes, at the equator the Earth is actually spinning faster. Yes, I know that sounds crazy but the Earth actually spins faster at the equator compared to the poles.

Virtually every country in the West now has plans to build a rocket launch site due to the commerical opportunities. Everyone is trying to get in on the act and the UK is a tad late to this.

You can launch further away from the equator but it costs you more to get a rocket into space - you either need bigger, more expensive rockets or you have to have smaller payloads. Considering that there is quite a rapidly growing market in satellites as small as, or smaller, than a microwave oven there is a lot of money to be made in getting them into space.

satellite-comparison.jpg

So, it is centrifugal force that is making all those African people gravitate to Europe? 

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Just now, One percent said:

So, it is centrifugal force that is making all those African people gravitate to Europe? 

Gravity is higher at the poles than at the equator. Perhaps we can issue them visas for Iceland as they are being sucked through our locale?

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Just now, Dipsy said:

Hope this happens, would love to see a live rocket launch. Went to the Kennedy Space Centre last year, no launches while we were in Florida but I'm now on their mailing list and they keep emailing me about their latest launches...bastards.

I imagine a lot of people will be hoping this happens. As mentioned in the article though it's expected that there will be a lot of opposition to this plan coming to fruition in the Scottish wilderness

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2 minutes ago, Cunning Plan said:

I am going to call bluff on that one.

But I am not a rocket scientist.

No, it gives a fairly useful increase in capacity.

Regardless, this is a crazy idea:

  • It is too far north.
  • I suppose it could be used for launching polar orbit satellites, but this is a specialist thing, and these could just as well be launched from a more southern launch site which would be better for normal satellite launches
  • it is in the middle of nowhere.  Oh, great, nothing to crash into -- but, more practically, there's no easy way of getting all the stuff up there.
  • It isn't enough 'middle of nowhere' to not be a tourist destination for its rugged beauty.
  • If they do launch a 'normal' satellite (eastbound launch), it'll be over Thurso at the point where launches like to explode and scatter debris over the ground.
  • It is in a country without any real launch vehicle capability (satellites, yes -- but they're easy enough to move around).

As an idea it does have one fantastic positive -- the UK in general and Scotland in particular seems keen to spunk away their money invest in this sort of thing.  LM etc will happily spend the government grant in putting in some concrete pads or whatever.

Oh, and whatever happened to that other great (not quite) British space dream -- Excalibur Almaz?  Oh, that's right, after merrily taking everyone's cash it just sort of disappeared.

 

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Why would anyone launch a piano, a lawnmower, a pickup truck or Diane Abbottopotamus into space?

Edited by NTB
t

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The UK first began thinking about developing a rocket programme back in the 1930's.

After WW2 we did develop and launch rockets - some from the Isle of Wright, some from Cumbria and some from Oz. This was moving towards quite a space program, and also a means of delivering nukes, but, IIRC, Tony Been cancelled it all due to cost circa 1960.

We then basically moved over to building satellites and getting the Yanks to launch them and buying polaris/trident from the Yanks.

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4 minutes ago, dgul said:

No, it gives a fairly useful increase in capacity.

Regardless, this is a crazy idea:

  • It is too far north.
  • I suppose it could be used for launching polar orbit satellites, but this is a specialist thing, and these could just as well be launched from a more southern launch site which would be better for normal satellite launches
  • it is in the middle of nowhere.  Oh, great, nothing to crash into -- but, more practically, there's no easy way of getting all the stuff up there.
  • It isn't enough 'middle of nowhere' to not be a tourist destination for its rugged beauty.
  • If they do launch a 'normal' satellite (eastbound launch), it'll be over Thurso at the point where launches like to explode and scatter debris over the ground.
  • It is in a country without any real launch vehicle capability (satellites, yes -- but they're easy enough to move around).

As an idea it does have one fantastic positive -- the UK in general and Scotland in particular seems keen to spunk away their money invest in this sort of thing.  LM etc will happily spend the government grant in putting in some concrete pads or whatever.

Oh, and whatever happened to that other great (not quite) British space dream -- Excalibur Almaz?  Oh, that's right, after merrily taking everyone's cash it just sort of disappeared.

 

 

One of the many reasons why the Yanks chose Florida to launch their rockets, apart from the fact that Jules Verne chose Florida as a launch pad for rockets as far backk as the 1860's, was the need to be able to get the various bits of rocket, fuel, etc, to a launch site from across the continental USA. You need infrastructure, communications, etc, to do this. Something that a remote part of Scotland does not have and will be expensive to put in place.

 

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Was in Hushinish, Harris recently. Apparently in the 1930s a German experimented with rocket post from there to the then inhabited island of Scarp.

7 minutes ago, NTB said:

Why would anyone launch a piano, a lawnmower, a pickup truck or Diane Abbottopotamus into space?

Have they developed one strong enough yet?

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

8 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

After WW2 we did develop and launch rockets - some from the Isle of Wright, some from Cumbria and some from Oz. This was moving towards quite a space program.

4 minutes ago, Fischer said:

Have they developed one strong enough yet?

 

Edited by OurDayWillCome

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3 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Here you go - blue streak rocket and launch at Cumbria.

Thank you Tony Benn. Cancelled UK rocket programme. Cancelled major avionics programme. Cancelled the TSR-2. Makes you wonder whose side he was on?

 

TSR-2 - there's one at Cosford Cold War Museum! Amazing aircraft. I always feel a sense of pride and then a tinge of depression whenever I go there.

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Seems safe enough

hqdefault.jpg

 

Ideal for creating a lot of debt (aka gdp) then cancelling at the last minute.  Taxpayers can then foot the bill.

Edited by twocents

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