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The Three Rocketeers BBC

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:55 pm
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The Three Rocketeers BBC 
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Post The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:55 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ocketeers/

For his entire life, one man has nursed the dream of putting mankind into space. Inspired by the Dan Dare comic strip, Alan Bond first started building rockets as a teenager in his back garden. He started his career working on Britain's Blue Streak rocket, then HOTOL - the world's first attempt to build a 'single-stage-to-orbit' spacecraft. Each time, he was thwarted by lack of funding from the UK government, so, together with two colleagues, Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott, he decided to go it alone. This documentary tells the story of how the three rocketeers defeated the Official Secrets Act, shrugged off government intransigence and defied all conventional wisdom to build a revolutionary new spacecraft - Skylon.

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:47 am
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01mqv45/The_Three_Rocketeers/

For his entire life, one man has nursed the dream of putting mankind into space. Inspired by the Dan Dare comic strip, Alan Bond first started building rockets as a teenager in his back garden. He started his career working on Britain's Blue Streak rocket, then HOTOL - the world's first attempt to build a 'single-stage-to-orbit' spacecraft. Each time, he was thwarted by lack of funding from the UK government, so, together with two colleagues, Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott, he decided to go it alone. This documentary tells the story of how the three rocketeers defeated the Official Secrets Act, shrugged off government intransigence and defied all conventional wisdom to build a revolutionary new spacecraft - Skylon.

Damn why don't I live in the UK? :)

I have been following the development of skylon for years now, I would love to see this documentary.

update: well I found it on youtube so all is well :)
I hope it is the same http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_a21fPkYM

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:24 pm
box wrote:
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01mqv45/The_Three_Rocketeers/

For his entire life, one man has nursed the dream of putting mankind into space. Inspired by the Dan Dare comic strip, Alan Bond first started building rockets as a teenager in his back garden. He started his career working on Britain's Blue Streak rocket, then HOTOL - the world's first attempt to build a 'single-stage-to-orbit' spacecraft. Each time, he was thwarted by lack of funding from the UK government, so, together with two colleagues, Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott, he decided to go it alone. This documentary tells the story of how the three rocketeers defeated the Official Secrets Act, shrugged off government intransigence and defied all conventional wisdom to build a revolutionary new spacecraft - Skylon.

Damn why don't I live in the UK? :)

I have been following the development of skylon for years now, I would love to see this documentary.

update: well I found it on youtube so all is well :)
I hope it is the same http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_a21fPkYM



Yes Box that is the same one and thanks Rob for pointing it it out its a real shame that the UK Gov never saw the way that pump priming a new industry would eventually bring in good jobs and tax revenue like the US and the French have Blue streak/Black arrow was well ahead of its time was at least a scale of magnitude cheaper than contemporary systems it was so good that it even put a sat into orbit after it had been cancelled and if you watch the vid of its launch you don't see clouds of random gasses you see a bit of a blue flame with a diamond pattern in it. And some of the guys on it said if that was not good enough for Gov funding lets see if we can come up with something better they did and still only got token funding and tied up in red tape until they eventually escaped to work on it in their own sheds.

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:33 pm
The British space programme was doomed by Donovan.

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:25 pm
Lourens wrote:
The British space programme was doomed by Donovan.


:D Yeah the philosophical S#!t happens or the more Promethean someone will always p on your bonfire especially if its a blue touch paper.

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:06 pm
Nice documentary. I do hope that his air-breathing rocket engine ends up working, and that Alan Bond lives to see the first Skylon reach orbit. He deserves that much. It's hard to see his bitterness.

It's interesting that they show the SR-71 as an inspiration for some aspects of the vehicle. The SR-71 wasn't at the cutting edge of what was possible in the late 1960's when it was developed, it went right across and into "damn near impossible" territory. But it was the space race and the cold war, and the funding came anyway because people believed in technology and in technological progress. And the Skunk Works did a bunch of research into aerothermodynamics and metallurgy and shock wave aerodynamics and they delivered an aeroplane that could sustain Mach 3.2. The SR-71 programme was cut in the early 90's as a cost savings measure, without a successor, and it still holds the speed record for an air-breathing aeroplane over 40 years later. By comparison, 40 years before it first flew, we were going around in aeroplanes made out of canvas and plywood.

Back in the 1960's there were people who said that we shouldn't be wasting all that money on Apollo, that there were plenty of problems here on Earth to deal with first. People still say that about manned space exploration. But is houses and jobs and personal safety really all we need? Can humanity as a species and a society really sustain itself just on the daily grind and the counted beans? Don't we need dreams, progress, some idea that we're going somewhere? That life will be better for our children than it was for us? I want a space station! I want a Mars colony! I want a high-tech sustainable society on a green planet! I want an end to war! Politicians, CEOs, investors, world leaders, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY! MAKE IT [censored] HAPPEN!

</fever-fuelled rant>

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Post Re: The Three Rocketeers BBC   Posted on: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:18 pm
Nice rant there. :)

I guess for most of us it's going to be a waiting game. Not much can be done if you don't have much money or influence.

Well unless you manage to get together with a large number of people with not much money and influence. Then maybe the cumulative influence could get something done. But getting a large number of people together has all it's separate issues.

No matter what, getting off the planet isn't an easy thing to do. :) Maybe we shouldn't be so impatient. We did a whole heap in terms of technological advancement in 100 years. I think we could get quite far in the next 100.

If we are lacking visionaries in the right spots to make this happen, maybe what we need to do is ensure that the next generations are full of them. So approaching and engaging the younger generations might be absolutely essential if we want to see cool stuff in the future before we drop dead.

It all starts with people dreaming about it. So maybe we are on the right track. We do have the dream already widespread thanks to sci-fi.

We will get there, and beyond. :P

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