BRITAIN'S FIRST SPACE ROCKET

The story of the Skylark


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 1960 June 16
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Summary: This vehicle was part of the UK programme, and included a repeat of Belfast's sodium vapour experiment as flown on SL16 the previous November, and for the first time, a micro-meteorite detector. Unfortunately both experiments failed, although repeated more successfully later, see 'Results' below.

Preparation:  No details are known, but SL10 was the 25th Skylark to be launched, and the 3rd in 1960, so the numbering was well out of sequence. The launch took place from Woomera, two months after SL62. After SL10, it was nearly two months before the next, SL61, was fired. 

Flight: An apogee of 129 km (80 miles) was achieved.

Recovery:  Nothing known, the usual case when experiments failed, and there was no academic result published.  

Results: Both experiments failed, apparently an 'Instrumentation failure' (Flight Magazine 26 February 1960, p.270), but were repeated more successfully two months later on SL13.

Seq. Nos

Launch date

Ref.
(sponsor)
launch site

Configuration

Apogee km
(miles)

Experimenters

Experiments

Result

25
(3)

16 June
 1960

SL10
(UK)
Woomera

Unstabilised,
Raven 2

129
(80)

 Belfast
Belfast

Neutral atmosphere (sodium vapour)
Micrometeorites (microphone detector)

F
F

More:
Brand, R. H. (2014), Britain's First Space Rocket, pp.139 & 614.
Massey & Robins (1986), History of British Space Science, p.394 (summary only).
Flight Magazine, 26 February 1960, p.270.

                       New Forest Electronics Tel. +44 (0) 1425 650089                 Issue 3.109    13 May 2024