Encyclopedia Astronautica
Martlet 1



martlet1.jpg
Martlet-1
Canadian sounding rocket. The Martlet One Flight Vehicle was designed in mid-1962 as a first generation test vehicle for the HARP project. The primary role of the Martlet One was to test the fundamental technologies that were to be used in the Martlet Two vehicle. These included the internal ballistics of the 16" L45 smooth-bored gun system, the pusher plate/ laminated plywood sabot system and the ability to receive radio telemetry from a gun launched vehicle in flight.

The main body of the vehicle was intended contain coloured chemicals for release during flight to produce a visible trail. This was to allow the wind and atmospheric conditions to be observed along the flight path. (primarily wind shear at altitudes near apogee). Ground observers were to determine the effect of high altitude winds on the chemical trail. The nose was designed to hold a small one watt radio telemetry transmitter and other electronic instruments.

Only four Martlet Ones were manufactured. Two were flown during the initial test series and the remaining two were retired. The first Martlet One was launched on January 21, 1963. It was launched at an elevation of 80 degrees and flew for 145 seconds. During its flight it rose to an altitude of 26 km and landed 11 km down range. The second Martlet One was launched on February 1, 1963 and flew for 146 seconds. It rose to an altitude of 27 km and landed about 11 km down range. These two flights were sufficient to prove the launch concept. The initial test series also included several wooden test slugs.

The Martlet 1 series was retired in favour of the much improved Martlet 2 family of vehicles. Also, the cost of installation of the gun and the ground support infrastructure left precious little funds for an extensive initial test series.

MARTLET ONE SPECIFICATIONS

  • Mass: 205 kg (450 lb.)

  • Body Diameter: 0.168 m (6.6 inches)

  • Length: 1.78 m (70 inches)

  • Sabot: Metallic pusher plate with four laminated plywood centring petals; outside diameter of sabot 0.417 m (16.4")

  • Gun Launcher: 16.4" L45 smooth-bored gun. This was a standard 16" battleship gun which had the rifling bored out. Propellant load 330 kg cordite.

by Richard K Graf

Payload: 205 kg (451 lb) to a 27 km altitude. Launch Price $: 0.003 million in 1962 dollars. Total Development Built: 4.

Gross mass: 205 kg (451 lb).
Payload: 205 kg (451 lb).
Height: 1.78 m (5.83 ft).
Diameter: 0.17 m (0.55 ft).
Apogee: 27 km (16 mi).
First Launch: 1963.01.21.
Last Launch: 1966.10.27.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Gun-launched Artillery dominated military ballistics from the earliest use of gunpowder. In 1865 Jules Verne could only realistically consider a cannon for a moon launch in his influential novel. Even after the rocket established its primacy as a method of accessing space, Canadian Gerald Bull began a life-long struggle to use guns for cheap access to space. His successes could not generate funding to continue. Others since then have pursued the technology, convinced it was the only way for low-cost delivery of payloads to orbit. More...
  • Martlet In 1962-1967 Canada's Gerard Bull led development of the Martlet system for gun-launched access to space. The program was cancelled before the objective of gun launch to orbit was attained. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bull Canadian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Bull, Canada. More...

Martlet 1 Chronology


1962 June - . LV Family: Martlet. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 1.
  • Martlet One Flight Vehicle designed - . Nation: Canada. Summary: This was the first generation test vehicle for the HARP project..

1963 - . LV Family: Martlet. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 1.
  • The Martlet One Flight Vehicle was designed in mid-1962 as a first generation test vehicle for the HARP project. The primary role of the Martlet One was to test the fundamental technologies that were - . Nation: Canada. The main body of the vehicle was intended contain coloured chemicals for release during flight to produce a visible trail. This was to allow the wind and atmospheric conditions to be observed along the flight path. (primarily wind shear at altitudes near apogee). Ground observers were to determine the effect of high altitude winds on the chemical trail. The nose was designed to hold a small one watt radio telemetry transmitter and other electronic instruments.

    Only four Martlet Ones were manufactured. Two were flown during the initial test series and the remaining two were retired. The first Martlet One was launched on January 21, 1963. It was launched at an elevation of 80 degrees and flew for 145 seconds. During its flight it rose to an altitude of 26 km and landed 11 km down range. The second Martlet One was launched on February 1, 1963 and flew for 146 seconds. It rose to an altitude of 27 km and landed about 11 km down range. These two flights were sufficient to prove the launch concept. The initial test series also included several wooden test slugs.

    The Martlet 1 series was retired in favour of the much improved Martlet 2 family of vehicles. Also, the cost of installation of the gun and the ground support infrastructure left precious little funds for an extensive initial test series.

    MARTLET ONE SPECIFICATIONS

    • Mass: 205 kg (450 lb.)

    • Body Diameter: 0.168 m (6.6 inches)

    • Length: 1.78 m (70 inches)

    • Sabot: Metallic pusher plate with four laminated plywood centring petals; outside diameter of sabot 0.417 m (16.4')

    • Gun Launcher: 16.4 inch L45 smooth-bored gun. This was a standard 16 inch battleship gun which had the rifling bored out. Propellant load 330 kg cordite.

    by Richard K Graf


1963 January 21 - . LV Family: Martlet. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 1.
  • Martlet 1 Shot 1 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 26 km (16 mi). Summary: The gun-launched rocket was shot at an elevation of 80 degrees and flew for 145 seconds. During its flight it rose to an altitude of 26 km and landed 11 km down range..

1963 February 1 - . LV Family: Martlet. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 1.
  • Martlet 1 Shot 2 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 27 km (16 mi). Summary: The second Martlet One flew for 146 seconds. It rose to an altitude of 27 km and landed about 11 km down range. These two flights were sufficient to prove the launch concept. The initial test series also included several wooden test slugs..

1966 October 27 - . 22:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Yuma. Launch Complex: Yuma gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 1. LV Configuration: Lahive 15-deg Cone.
  • SHOT-14 - . Nation: USA. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use