european rocket launch sites

[13] Diplomatic approaches were made to various nations, however it became obvious that the members of the Commonwealth of Nations alone were not prepared to provide the necessary backing for such a programme. [24][21] It would carry a satellite, which would be designed and manufactured in Italy, and weighted roughly a ton.

In early June 1966, the British government (Fred Mulley) decided it could not afford the cost of Europa and sought to leave the ELDO organisation - one of the few European organisations by which point it had become a lead player.

[19] The ELDO not only served the purpose of harnessing Blue Streak, but also fulfilled ambitions to produce a European rival to the American and Soviet launchers being developed and deployed at that time.

By 1970 Hawker Siddeley's Blue Streak launcher had cost £100 million to develop. Since then, more than 14,000 rockets have been launched from Wallops. By 1969, the ELDO was beginning to realize that dividing work up by country led to not enough overall collaboration and had resulted in a disjointed framework of planning. During the early 1950s, the British government had identified the need to develop its own series of ballistic missiles due to advances being made in this field, particularly by the Soviet Union and the United States. The French had developed rockets through their Véronique, which was originally planned to be the second stage. From the onset, this new launcher was to be developed for the purpose of sending commercial satellites into geosynchronous orbit, unlike many other competing launchers, which had been typically developed for other purposes and subsequently adapted, such as ballistic missiles. That agreement had been signed between ESRO and NASA on 30 December 1966 and by 1970 it was becoming clear that the advantage in having a national launch vehicle was insufficient to justify the cost. The first test took place at 9:14 am local time on 5 June 1964 at Woomera. However, there was criticisms that Europa would take longer to deliver than the Black Prince launcher for no significant improvement, while suffering from the same core economic problem of being too expensive for scientific satellites while too small for commercial communications satellites.[22]. On 27 April 1973, Europa was abandoned. Near space is considered to be around 60–70 miles (90–110 km). It was still planned to be used on Europa until 1973, when Diamant would be used as the first stage. However, the soon-to-be-common geosynchronous satellites necessitated being positioned at an altitude of 22,000 miles (35 400 km) above Earth, which was far beyond the performance of Europa 1, being capable of launching satellites to a 125 miles (200 km) altitude.

By 1970, the French launch base in French Guiana had cost £45 million, and in that year France became the most important partner in the project, then planning to build two-thirds of the rocket as well as owning the launch site. Thrust was terminated after 147 seconds, 6 seconds earlier than planned.

The Coralie was to be tested at Colomb-Béchar in the Béchar Province of western Algeria. [citation needed] Britain's most significant involvement with the project came to an end. However, confidence in the programme had diminished due to the poor reliability figures, and this led to its termination.

However, all of the launchers, to the very end of the programme, were completely dependent on the British rocket used for the first stage.

The vehicle broke up near the apogee of the flight. This disappointing performance heavily contributed to work on the programme being terminated. [17] The ELS project is being co-funded by Arianespace , ESA, and the European Union , with CNES being the prime contractor.

The first full-size launch, weighing in total 104 tons, took place at Woomera on 24 May 1966, with dummy upper stages. Due to Britain's withdrawal in 1968, ELDO in June 1969 had other ideas than staying with the Blue Streak launcher for Europa's first stage, to give technical work to countries that were still (loyally) part of the organisation.

The chief project engineer of the rocket's assembly at the space projects division of Hawker Siddeley Dynamics was Dr Geoffrey Pardoe, also the project manager of Blue Streak from 1956 to 1960 (when under de Havilland).

On 28 April 1970 at a meeting in Paris, ELDO replaced the Blue Streak with the French-made Diamant. The Europa programme was divided into 4 separate projects intended to follow each other in succession. The Blue Streak missile predated the Europa programme, having originally been developed by Britain primarily for military purposes, however it was cancelled in 1960.

The first successful firing was on 28 November 1966 in northern Africa. However, the rocket was exactly on course and inaccurate readings had been picked up by a radar station 120 miles (190 km) away. "A Vertical Empire: The History of the UK Rocket and Space Programme, 1950–1971.

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