Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skybolt Sounding Rocket


British sounding rocket. Reusable sounding rocket design proposed by Starchaser Industries, Cheshire, England. As of 2006 the business case for completing development was being reviewed.

Skybolt was designed to flight test the rocket engine for the manned Starchaser space tourist vehicle and prove the modular vehicle construction. It would also be used to obtain real space flight experience for the company. Skybolt was designed to be reusable, a trait that was almost unique compared to existing sounding rockets. Propulsion was to be by a single Starchaser Storm bi-liquid lox / kerosene engine, which would provide a total impulse of 3.23 MNs, and reach a cutoff velocity of 1440 m/sec and Mach number 4.8.

Payload: 20 kg (44 lb) to a 130 km altitude.

Status: Design 2006.
Gross mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb).
Payload: 20 kg (44 lb).
Height: 11.60 m (38.00 ft).
Diameter: 0.81 m (2.65 ft).
Span: 2.29 m (7.50 ft).
Thrust: 68.70 kN (15,444 lbf).
Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

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