Vulcan satellite launch vehicle?

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pmn1

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From the current issue of the British Interplanetary Society’s Space Chronicles.<br /><br />Based on studies of manned Blue Steel to do the same research as the X-15<br /><br />The Vulcan Obiter Z 124<br /><br />By October 1962 ambitions had increased to the extent of considering a brand new rocket vehicle completely different in principal from Blue Steel. The concept began with the recognition that the Vulcan, because of its delta wing, had very tall undercarriage. This would permit the installation of a large ballistic multi-stage rocket weighing up to 40,000lb (the drawing shows the missile hanging outside the bomb bay which appears to have had the doors removed). This would be carried and air launched much as was Blue Steel, from a height of about 50,000ft, but the trajectory would be more akin to that of the ballistic Skybolt as the obiter was wing-less. It was calculated that this three-stage vehicle could place a 650lb payload into a low earth orbit. Although less design detailing was done on the obiter than on the manned Blue Steel its potential was recognised. Here was a revolutionary way of placing application satellites (for communications, meteorology, survey, navigation etc) in orbit launched from a mobile platform. Two advantages sprang from this: firstly the Vulcan could fly to any base in Europe, collect its rocket and launch into a variety of orbital planes; secondly, with flight refuelling, the craft could be placed in an equatorial orbit. In this way Europe could have had its very own launching system, quite different from that of the USA, which was totally expendable.<br /><br />This project was announced at a lecture and received a lot of publicity. Whether it was ever considered seriously by HMG is doubted but it could have given the RAF an opportunity to take a bold step, into spaceflight.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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holmec

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Who ever writes for that is not very exacting.....The shuttle system is entirely expendable? I think not.<br /><br />This is the British response to Scaled Composites system and AirLaunch LLC system.<br /><br />At least the technique is getting attention. I personally like the technique because it is so agreeable with our current aircraft technology and support systems. <br /><br />If they do decide to go this route, they may end up not using the Vulcan at all. I remember when they tried to adapt their Nimrod plane to be a early warning and controls system, but it failed and Britain ended up buying some E-3 Sentry's AWACS to perform the desirable function.<br /><br />Well...er....Blue Steel seems to be a cold war rocket that was originally launched from a plane to travel sub orbitally to like the old USSR. So maybe this system have more viability than I first gave it. Using old existing rockets for payload transfer to orbit. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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>The British, (rightly,) figured that the X-15 program was ten years ahead of them and the results would be shared anyway. Why waste the money and endure considerable risk just to say "we have one too,"?<<br /><br />I'm sure that at the time the blue steel rocket was at the cutting edge of technology, and that its application was fairly unique. The British are not known for making big risks. Sometimes they do and sometimes it pays off like the harrier jump jet and the hover craft for big transport. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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nyarlathotep

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<font color="yellow">Who ever writes for that is not very exacting.....The shuttle system is entirely expendable? I think not. </font><br /><br />The shuttle system was around in 1962?
 
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pmn1

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Asuming 650lb to LEO was correct, what kind of market would there be in the 60's for this weight of satellite? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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