BRITAIN'S FIRST SPACE ROCKET

The story of the Skylark


> Book home

> Book details

> A brief history

> Mission Index

> Meet the author!

> Reviews

> Videos & links

> New Forest Electronics

< previous SL812 next >

1971 May 10


SL812 is fired from Woomera. Launch was at night as this was a star pointing astronomy mission. (WRE\T.Ransome)


The Leicester stellar X-ray instrument as probably flown on SL812. (Adams, Janes & Whitford (1972a), figure 7)

Summary: SL812 was launched from Woomera, propelled by a Raven VI and Goldfinch boost, the payload head comprised a prototype star-pointing ACU with a University of Leicester stellar X-ray astronomy experiment.

Preparation: SL812 had been the subject of much pre-flight technical discussion on its aerodynamic stability, but the actual flight showed no signs of flutter.

Flight: The vehicle successfully propelled its heavy star-pointing ACU to 219 km (136 miles) with no sign of flight instability. Unfortunately this Phase 1 version of the Stage 5 ACU then failed to lock, see below.

Recovery: The parachute recovery system did not work.

Result:  As noted above, the prototype star-seeking payload ACU (Attitude Control Unit) failed, as it did not acquire the correct target stars because of faults in the magnetometer & Moon sensor areas. Hence the University of Leicester astronomy experiment was unsuccessful.

Seq.
Nos

Launch
date

Ref.
(sponsor)
launch site

Config-uration

Apogee km
(miles)

Experi-menter

Experiment

Res-ult

272
(15)

10 May 1971

SL812
(UK)
Woomera

Star, Raven 6
+
Goldfinch

219
(136)

University
of Leicester

Astronomy X-ray survey (variable spacing modulation collimator)

Vf

More:
(i) 'Britain's First Space Rocket' book: page 396
(ii) Pounds (1971), 'Measurement of the Polarisation, Spectra & Accurate Locations of Cosmic X-ray Sources', pp.165-166

                       New Forest Electronics Tel. +44 (0) 1425 650089                 Issue 3.62    20 September 2017