Saturday, 6 February 2010

Swords into Launch Vehicles

In order to get the best value from the Trident missiles, we no longer have a use needs to be found for them. Unsurprisingly this problem has occurred before but only actually solved by the Russians where they convert their out of date R-29 Vysota  into  Shtil' and Volna launch vehicles, which are capable of putting a small satellite into Orbit.  The Trident missiles have a greater range than the R-29 and this would translate into a larger payload. There is also Dnepr see Converted Russian ICBM Takes German Satellite Into Orbit

The Russian launches have been from still operational submarines but can be from land bases as the development launched of the Trident II missiles was conducted from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 46. If this option is used then some of the equipment on the rocket can be removed so increasing payload.

However a launch pad would need to be built. This is not as much a problem as it might appear, as you can see from the image the launch complex is not complicated. All that is needed is a convenient location.

Britain's previous launches have been from Woomera in Australia, which while an excellent launch site has the disadvantage of being at a high latitude. However one of the advantages of using a rocket designed for long term storage and quick use is that it is largely self contained, this would allow a relatively underdeveloped site to be used, preferably one near the equator. The UK possession of Ascension Island is ideally located at 8 degrees south and the facilities at RAF Ascension Island provide easy access and the needed communications facilities.

See Gunter's Space page