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A Skylark that never was!
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Above: The label on the SL1113
Below: The Skylark sections in the author's
author has acquired three Skylark payload sections, one labelled "SL1113
Telescope". Interestingly, in his extensive researches he has never
previously come across this number, and so this designation does not
appear in his definitive book on the Skylark sounding rocket.
One of the sections (not
acquired by the author) did include a 14 inch mirror, which has since been
refurbished as part of an ordinary telescope. Hence, it seems this
designation was issued for a proposed vehicle whose astronomical payload
was started but never finished, for whatever reason.
The author would very much like to find out more, and if anyone reading
this could help with information, he would be most grateful. Please email
The payload sections originated second
hand from the Birmingham area - a clue perhaps? Also, one of the
sections not acquired by the author had "SL972" written under the assembly
number in an official manner, and another had "ARU Culham" in felt pen. SL972 was launched from Woomera on 8th
October 1970, carrying an astronomical (cosmic X-ray) experiment from the
University of Leicester. So perhaps it was left over from that, and used
to help build the SL1113 prototype?
For further details and
several more photos of the original find, see the "Stargazers Lounge"