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The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Well after so many years, the UK government has decided to get back into the space race!

Just a shame it took the threat of Scotland going seperate to convince it that we need to be keeping up with science  Roll eyes
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12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Does that mean they are going to send Scotland into space, then ?  Huh

(EDIT EDIT EDIT ...... that pic wasn`t there when I posted ! !  Cheesy )
Community Veteran
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Grin
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pwatson
Rising Star
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

I was brought up with the old fashioned notion that there were advantages in launching things into orbit from locations near the equator.  On that basis, Scotland is the worst possible choice - Isle Of Wight anyone?  Smiley
Devonian
Grafter
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Surely Plymouth Airport would be the perfect choice, as it's now closed down, but has modern facilities and standards still in place, and effectively ready to go?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_City_Airport
TORPC
Grafter
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Cheesy
Weather wise Scotland the brave, is not the best choice
They need to look @ where the overall weather is going to be less hassle Wink
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Couple of small points/issues:
1) I think all the airports listed have runways that are too small for the Virgin Galactic spacecraft.
2) I think they prefer to launch rockets from as close to the equator as possible (earth rotates at a higher speed on the equator so the energy required to launch the rocket is reduced).
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Quote from: Devonian
Surely Plymouth Airport would be the perfect choice, as it's now closed down, but has modern facilities and standards still in place, and effectively ready to go?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_City_Airport

Or Manston! The runway there is huge and the site needs a new use to save it from the owner building houses on it.
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Community Veteran
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Quote from: shutter
(EDIT EDIT EDIT ...... that pic wasn`t there when I posted ! !  Cheesy )

Yeah i malformed the image tags  Roll eyes
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WTF
Grafter
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Quote from: AndyH
2) I think they prefer to launch rockets from as close to the equator as possible (earth rotates at a higher speed on the equator so the energy required to launch the rocket is reduced)

That's pretty much exactly how Neil Degrasse Tyson explained it in his podcast recently.
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

I would think the UK Gov is living in cloud cuckoo land with its plans. I am waiting for some space physicists to discredit the plans.
They've only identified one airport, Cambeltown, as having the required 10,000ft+ runway required for a SpacePort. The only issue is that I think the runway is significantly shorter now, only 1750m (http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-47B918388777BD99535FADB53F133708/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/AIP/AD/EG_AD_2_EGEC_en_2014-06-26.pdf).
Given the number of aborted take offs/launches/landings in Florida, I cannot see how the Scottish weather is going to be an improvement.
I read that launching satellites from French Guiana (which is virtually on the equator) can save up to 25% on fuel. I am not sure who will want to pay more to launch the satellites from the UK.
Thunderclap
Grafter
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Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Huh I am no rocket scientist but... I do happen to know that the closer to the equator you are, the more effiecient a rocket launch. This is because the Earth spins fastest at the equator and throws the rocket into space. ESA has it's launch facility in French Guyana, right on the equator. And the Cape Kennedy space center is as south as America gets. But as one would expect from a committee of accedemics and bureaucrats, they chose locations in the UK furthest from the equator. Or is that, they dumped those noisy rockets in Scotland because there's no Tories up there? Perfect example of sub-orbital thinking.
Devonian
Grafter
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Re: The UK has LIFTOFF!!!!

Or maybe the locations are just hear say and gossip?