10

Developing software to help with space stuff doesn't just mean building big complex C/C++ engines, or even analytical engines, to use the data. Remember that a significant part of public outreach is building websites! In addition, many of the tools used to ensure that spacecraft are operating correctly, programming them to do tasks, and help figure out what ...


7

The UK did take some advantage of American components, the engine programme for Blue Streak started with licensed American designs that were progressively replaced with indigenous designs. Black Arrow was a purely British development. British companies had some rocket experience because in the 1950s there were several plans (Saunders-Roe SR.53 and SR.177, ...


7

The Baltic Sea is far too crowded to make it the range area. At any point of time you can see at least several ships within view distance. For the same reason, while it might seem like the isle of Ibiza would provide 2700km of downrange over the sea, the Mediterrean Sea traffic is so high, it's unlikely to be allowed, plus the range of inclinations is ...


5

Yes, the rules are the same for an air-launched vehicle. From a 2008 paper describing the FAA's approach ("Separation Distances for Rocket Launch Operations" AIAA 2008-7124) the permit applicant must identify and qualitatively characterize the risks of each of the potential hazards associated with its proposed operation and apply mitigation measures ...


4

Historically range safety has destroyed 2 airlaunched boosters that I know of, the 6th and 9th Pegasus launches. It appears that these were destructed because of obvious loss of control issues rather than corridor breaches though. So: Range safety is a player and will/historically has destruct(ed) air launched vehicles. I do not have the details on the ...


3

In the space industry there is a great need for software engineers of all backgrounds and interests. I did a couple of internships at NASA and now work at a private space company. Through these experiences I got to work on autonomous software for rocket tests using Matlab, deep learning for virtual reality using Python & Unreal Engine, and now flight ...


3

Apparently not, but the penetrator system seems to have survived: The space penetrator has itself been in development for almost 10 years, and was originally proposed for a British lunar mission called Moonlite. That venture was eventually shelved, but the idea of a "hard lander" was so compelling, the European Space Agency decided to pick up the ...


3

Really a launch so far north you don't want to launch straight east. In fact, if you read the list of rockets they include in the linked article, all of them are sub-orbital except for the proposed Reaction Engine SSTO, which range safety concerns are somewhat less. I suspect that a launch site would be in the northern portion of the UK, with a polar ...


3

If we stretch the definition of "continental Europe" a bit to include the Canary Islands, a spaceport on Gran Canaria would have a bit over five thousand kilometers of useable range over the Sahara Desert, most of which is somewhat sparsely populated: If we can get permission for the track to cross over the Nile Valley, the amount of useable range increases ...


2

A consortium of European scientists created the Biostack, which flew in the command module of Apollo 16 and 17. The principal investigator was from Germany. The objectives of the biostack experiment were achieved by using a hermetically sealed aluminum container [see picture] that contained a series of monolayers of biologic material sandwiched between ...


2

If you are trying for Geostationary orbit an equatorial launch site is better, but if you are stuck with launch from inside the UK but are not prepared to drop spent stages on voters then you can still do low altitude polar launches . As with so many things this is much more about politics than physics. So Israel launches ...


1

The proposed location is actually further west than the map above - on the A'Mhoine peninsular in the Sutherland area of Scotland. Therefore the range of easterly launch angles is slightly increased.


1

Although not orbital, which was the explicit question asked, a rocket has been launched from the UK to beyond the atmosphere in October 2015. It is reported by the BBC today. The BBC article also writes about the sites for planned spaceports, including an article about a proposed vertical rocket launch site in Sutherland. A lot of these proposals are ...


1

Perhaps. There seems to be persistent interest, see NSTP2, which is an invitation from the UK Space Agency for "proposals for industrial research projects that will contribute to the introduction of sub-orbital flight and satellite launch operations in the UK". Proposals have to address: determine how sub-orbital or small satellite launch vehicles ...


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