alternate launch vehicles

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Chris Syed

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Oct 17, 1988, 2:41:34 PM10/17/88
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I have been away for some time. I apologise if these things have
been discussed.

While in some country or other, (England maybe), I heard a snatch
of TV or radio news mentioning plans for 2 US commercial launches
in the near future, using good ole missile-type vehicles.

One was supposed to involve a small dog, who would be brought back to
terra firma and become the mascot for an new line of toys. It was, I
think, to be a suborbital flight launched from the Cape. Has this
happened?

Along those lines, do Getaway Specials still exist?

Also, with all the recent talk of shuttle designs, I am reminded of an
article by one of the UK netters about an air-breathing shuttle
BAC (I think) was designing for Her Majesty's Gov't. Is this programme
completely utterly dead?

{uunet!mnetor,unicus,yunexus,}!geac!cbs (Chris Syed)

E.BERLINER

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Oct 19, 1988, 3:51:18 PM10/19/88
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In article <34...@geac.UUCP>, c...@geac.UUCP (Chris Syed) writes:
<stuff>

> Also, with all the recent talk of shuttle designs, I am reminded of an
> article by one of the UK netters about an air-breathing shuttle
> BAC (I think) was designing for Her Majesty's Gov't. Is this programme
> completely utterly dead?

A recent edition of AW&ST (no more than a week or two ago) mentioned
that the HOTOL effort was no longer being funded by the British
Government, but that British Aerospace (the renamed BAC) is in
negotiations with some private concerns ( no names mentioned) for
the continuation of development.

Not quite dead, but the pulse and blood pressure are dangerously
low I would say. Typical (British) Governmental (of any political
flavor) response to matters aerospace.

David Smith (AT&T Bell Labs, Holmdel, NJ. homxc!5432ds)

News reading a/c for kevin

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Oct 20, 1988, 9:09:33 AM10/20/88
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From article <34...@geac.UUCP>, by c...@geac.UUCP (Chris Syed):
> [...]
>
> Also, with all the recent talk of shuttle designs, I am reminded of an
> article by one of the UK netters about an air-breathing shuttle
> BAC (I think) was designing for Her Majesty's Gov't. Is this programme
> completely utterly dead?
>
> {uunet!mnetor,unicus,yunexus,}!geac!cbs (Chris Syed)

Following the Leaderine's invocation of our version of the Emergency
Powers Act, anyone caught communicating on topics of National Security,
such as Hotol, with foreign powers will be sentenced to catching the
23:15 Lager Lout Special from Liverpool Street whilst sober!

[Sorry! Wrong newsgroup for political/social comments]

It appears as though British Aerospace's (BAe) Hotol project has been
swept under the carpet again. BAe want to proceed but are not prepared to
unless the cost can be shared with someone else. HMG is not prepared to
spend anything on it (or anything else if they can help it), but will
permit BAe to look for other investors, as long as they are not foreign
to the UK - for reasons of NATIONAL SECURITY. Naturally there are no
indigenous companies prepared to invest/risk large sums of money on the
venture. The designer (whether of the engines alone or the project in
general, I'm uncertain) apparently is the modern day equivalent of
Barnes Wallace and Frank Whittle, and has publicly stated that his baby
WILL be built, and that as HE holds the copyrights he would 'defect' to
the highest bidder should the project be stopped. HMG informed him that
this would break the Official Secrets Act... etc.,etc.

Now, I've written this with no research, so the information I've given
MAY be incorrect. I am relying on memory and the television news over
the past few months. I can confirm that BAe were handing out sheets about
Hotol on their stand at Farnborough in September, but I'm afraid I'm not
going to wade through back issues of Flight and New Scientist to get to
the ACTUAL current situation :-). I hope someone else would correct me if
I'm wrong.

Kev Holmes k...@ist.CO.UK
Imperial Software Technology Home Bone (44) 252 547902
Reading, Royal Berkshire, UK.

"In fact, we're going so fast that controlling the ship is a real
brown-trouser job." - Holly, Red Dwarf

Henry Spencer

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Oct 20, 1988, 1:51:30 PM10/20/88
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In article <34...@geac.UUCP> c...@geac.UUCP (Chris Syed) writes:
> Along those lines, do Getaway Specials still exist?

Yes, although if you start work on one now, it may be a long time before
it gets to fly. There was a considerable backlog *before* Challenger...
--
The meek can have the Earth; | Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
the rest of us have other plans.|uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Bob Gray

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Oct 21, 1988, 9:28:33 AM10/21/88
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In article <3...@istop.ist.CO.UK> k...@ist.CO.UK (News reading a/c for kevin) writes:
>It appears as though British Aerospace's (BAe) Hotol project has been
>swept under the carpet again. BAe want to proceed but are not prepared to
>unless the cost can be shared with someone else. HMG is not prepared to
>spend anything on it (or anything else if they can help it), but will
>permit BAe to look for other investors, as long as they are not foreign
>to the UK - for reasons of NATIONAL SECURITY. ....

Not quite. HMG has mentioned that the Japanese would be a
good choice of partners. The paranoia that HMG has about National
Security will quickly disappear if a big enough profit can
be made out of it. Especially if some other country will pay
for it.

>venture. The designer (whether of the engines alone or the project in
>general, I'm uncertain) apparently is the modern day equivalent of
>Barnes Wallace and Frank Whittle, and has publicly stated that his baby
>WILL be built, and that as HE holds the copyrights he would 'defect' to
>the highest bidder should the project be stopped. HMG informed him that
>this would break the Official Secrets Act... etc.,etc.

Alan Bond. He designed the engines and demonstrated that his
designs WILL work if built. He claims to have raised 120
million pounds to finance the second stage of development
work. He also said that the OSA wouldn't stop him going
abroad to continue development if he could'nt in this country.

One footnote. The Indian Government's Ministry of defence is
said to be interested in the engines. They have produced an
idea which would nearly triple the proportion of cargo to
take off weight. They want to take off with empty O2 tanks,
and cruise in the upper atmosphere (25 miles up) at Mach 6
and liquefy and store O2 for later use outside the atmosphere.
Bob.

Richard Eyre Todd

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Oct 21, 1988, 1:46:44 PM10/21/88
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kev @ ist.CO.UK ( 20 Oct 88 ) writes :

>It appears as though British Aerospace's (BAe) Hotol project has been
>swept under the carpet again. BAe want to proceed but are not prepared to
>unless the cost can be shared with someone else. HMG is not prepared to
>spend anything on it (or anything else if they can help it), but will
>permit BAe to look for other investors, as long as they are not foreign

>to the UK - for reasons of NATIONAL SECURITY. Naturally there are no
>indigenous companies prepared to invest/risk large sums of money on the
>venture.

The British government have indeed declined the opportunity to invest
further hard cash in the HOTOL project. The good news however is that
a group of anonymous city backers have come forward to provide the
necessary funding for the next three years. To this end a corporate
vehicle has been created, which will be known as the HOTOL Development
Corporation. Negotiations are presently underway. No hard contracts
have been signed as yet, so further discussion at the present time is
speculative and may be prejudicial. I will post an update when further
information becomes available.


>The designer (whether of the engines alone or the project in
>general, I'm uncertain) apparently is the modern day equivalent of
>Barnes Wallace and Frank Whittle, and has publicly stated that his baby
>WILL be built, and that as HE holds the copyrights he would 'defect' to
>the highest bidder should the project be stopped. HMG informed him that
>this would break the Official Secrets Act... etc.,etc.

bob @ etive.ed.ac.uk (Bob Gray) ( 21 Oct 88 ) responds :

>Alan Bond. He designed the engines and demonstrated that his
>designs WILL work if built.

In 'Spaceflight News' (October 1988) Alan Bond is quoted :

"Some of the areas of major difficulty have been examined to a level
where solutions are known to exist, but that is a far cry from
actually having the technology all buttoned down such that you
know there's not going to be something nasty pop up when you've
got to go on to develop and produce vehicles. The whole object of
this next stage of the [HOTOL] program is really to address
those areas with the right level of effort, such that you have
a complete 'technology map' of all the difficult areas of the
vehicle".

The more astute news.reader will note that, in all probability,
the public relations department of the HDC will take over from
Alan Bond's 'freelance' reporting of the project status in the
future :-).

> Richard Eyre-Todd. Department of Computer Science, University of Edinburgh.

> JANET: r...@uk.ac.ed.ecsvax | Solid fuel is for camp-fires,
> UUCP: ...!mcvax!ukc!ed.ecsvax!ret | not boosting Space Shuttles. :-)

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