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SFS News: Rocket Men launch 'Iris', largest rocket from UK

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:33 am
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SFS News: Rocket Men launch 'Iris', largest rocket from UK 
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Post SFS News: Rocket Men launch 'Iris', largest rocket from UK   Posted on: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:33 am
Rocketeers.co.uk have posted a small article on "Iris"

The UK Rocket Men, the team behind the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle and the Blue Peter Rocket, have launched 'Iris', their largest rocket yet, as part of a programme for the Discovery Channel. Iris, at around 55 feet tall, was the largest and heaviest rocket ever launched from the UK mainland, and was launched from the Ministry of Defence test ranges at Otterburn in Northumberland.

Iris was flown to demonstrate the viability of launching micromachined diffraction lenses into space, as part of a geoengineering scheme devised by astronomer Roger Angel, a sunshield to diffuse the incoming radiation from the Sun and offset global warming. In the full-scale plan, 16 trillion lenses would be required to make up the million square miles of area of the sunshield. It is estimated that the shield would require one orbital launch every 20 minutes for about five years to be completed. The programme also investigated the use of a "coil gun" electromagnetic launcher to propel the lenses into space.

Unfortunately, Iris suffered a delayed second stage ignition at around 3,500 feet, and the mission was unsuccessful.

The programme Discovery Project Earth: Space Sunshield will be broadcast on Discovery Channel today at 9PM Eastern.

Rocketeer comments: All due credit to Damien and Colin for trying :-) Wish I could say the same of Prof. Angel. I have to say that his sunshield concept is one of the most lunatic ideas I've ever heard. I'm intensely suspicious of all these geoengineering plans to offset climate change, and regard them as "meddling with things we don't understand". These things badly need an off-switch in case our models turn out to be wrong (wouldn't be the first time!), and other factors (say a second Dalton Minimum) cause global cooling instead. That's not counting the sheer amount of stuff launched into space, and the debris from inevitable failed launches.

With a bit of luck, the sunshield could be Kessler syndrome and a new major ice age, all in one large, inconvenient package. I'm sure, Prof. Angel, if you try really hard, you can come up with a plan to inadvertantly bring about the extinction of the entire human species :-p


Image
Image credit Discovery Channel Inc.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further...

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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:36 am
Well that went past under the radar!

Anyone hear anything? have any more info?

Rob

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Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:44 pm
Found a video here

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/discove ... crash.html

Didn't seem to want to play for me, but I think its the hostels computer I'm using.

Iain
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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:19 am
when i think UK and rocketry, only SC comes into mind. this is certainly a pleasant surprise.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:24 am
brilliant video, haha for those of you wthat cant see it, it basically goes up, turns round then comes back down nose first and fast! ni actually hid behind my hand as it hit the ground!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:09 pm
more info here
http://www.rocketryplanet.com/index.php ... &Itemid=28

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