By C. N. Hill
A Vertical Empire presents an outline of the British rocketry and area programme from the Nineteen Fifties to Seventies, detailing the Medium variety Ballistic Missile Blue Streak and its conversion to a satellite tv for pc launcher as a part of the ecu Launcher improvement agency (ELDO). This widely revised moment variation contains fabric purely made to be had some time past ten years and the textual content is supplemented through various photos, sketches and records. The all-British satellite tv for pc Black Arrow is defined, in addition to the learn rocket Black Knight, the Blue metal missile and the rocket powered interceptor plane.
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Additional info for A Vertical Empire: History of the British Rocketry Programme
As he put it in a letter to the Ministry of Technology: It was not possible for ELDO to commit any money for the necessary test facilities for these chambers. V. 9 He went on to say: We are most anxious to have the test facility at Spadeadam, for two very definite reasons:(a) Because if any larger operational programmes for hydrogen rocketry ever arise in the UK, it will be inevitable that their testing should be done at Spadeadam. It is highly desirable, therefore, to begin as we mean to go on, and start gaining early experience there as soon as possible.
The Wilson Government from 1964 onwards brought a number of economists in to evaluate programmes on a cost-benefit analysis basis (Wilson himself had been an economics don at Oxford). The problem was that research programmes were analysed for their economic benefits, and this is a difficult if not impossible task. One of the points of starting research programmes is that their outcome is not always predictable, since the object of research is to look at matters that are uncertain or unknown. Surprisingly, the greatest number of files on Blue Streak in the Public Record Office relate to the Foreign Office.
Then there are all the Ministry and Establishment departments with their heads: Guided Weapons, Space Department, and so on. Ministries have Private Secretaries (PS), Permanent Under Secretaries (PUS), and varieties of subordinate secretaries. It was part of their job to turn policy into hardware. But they were also responsible for the papers that went to Ministers, and, as a result, a good deal of the policy was made at a lower level than is often supposed. Firms De Havilland Propellers (later Hawker Siddeley Dynamics or HSD) was of course the largest contractor, building up to 18 flight models of Blue Streak (not all of which were completed) as well as several non-flight vehicles.
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