British Rocketry Relics

At the Science and Society picture library. Note the many small independently hinging peroxide/kerosene Gamma chambers, the large but cancelled Larch engine, the washing machine / musical box guidance computer with a rotary drum that has bumps, and many other things.

The British seem to be very engaged in nostalgia and “only if” in the aerospace sector. The country was bankrupted by two very heavy wars, and its empire was being dismantled at the end of the latter war. Some of its launcher technologies were quite good but somehow it could not transform into the more modern European capability that would then come through the French, mainly, after some abortive efforts by many parties and their joint ventures. Part of this was the promise by the Americans to launch European payloads on Deltas. Except when said payloads then started competing commercially with American ones…

I’ve seen and touched the Europa launcher at Oberschleissheim, Munich. It’s not as big as one would think. It also seemed complex and fragile with all the truss work, wires and pipes going everywhere. Corrugations and spot welds. Still very advanced compared to the V-2 chamber standing next to it, but otherwise it seemed somewhat anachronistic.

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