BRITAIN'S FIRST SPACE ROCKET

The story of the Skylark


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 1972 December 11
 
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Above:
This photo of SL1005's launch only came to light in 2020. (Anthony Derrick collection)
(W.R.E.)

Below: the back of the photo above, verifying the details. (BS 204/1 was the trial number used by the WRE at Woomera).

Summary: SL1005 was an aeronomy and ionospheric mission propelled by a Raven VI motor and the first Cuckoo III boost motor. It carried the fifth successive stabilised Skylark payload into space, and included experiments from Belfast, Sheffield, the UK Meteorological Office, and possibly the University of Adelaide.

It was the 306th Skylark to be launched, and the 20th in 1972.  

Preparation:
Part of the SRC (UK national) programme, comprising campaigns 11 and 12 combined into one of five rounds.

Flight:
Successful, reaching an altitude of 195 km (121 miles).

Recovery:
Nothing known.

Results:  The experiments from Queen's Belfast (an 'Airglow' study of the resonant scattering of sunlight), and Sheffield (ion composition of the lower ionosphere) were partially successful, whilst that from the UK Met. Office (molecular concentration of oxygen using ionisation chambers) was successful. This latter may have been in conjunction with the Adelaide Met. Office and the University of Adelaide.

More:
(i) Brand, R. H. (2014), Britain's First Space Rocket, p 428 & pp.434-5.

(ii) Below: the commemorative envelope issued for SL1005 (book p.435).

                       New Forest Electronics Tel. +44 (0) 1425 650089                 Issue 3.88    24th May 2021