Courtesy of Wessex Resins & Adhesives LTD
A Salford University academic with ambitious plans to send tourists into space by 2013 unveiled the UK’s largest ever space rocket on Tuesday, July 1, 2008. The project, sponsored in part by WEST SYSTEM’S UK Distributor, Wessex Resins &Adhesives Ltd., used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy in the rocket casing and for fairing the body. Steve Bennett, who heads the University’s Space Technology Laboratory, presented his 58′ Nova 2 rocket at the University and discussed how his company, Starchaser Industries Ltd. (Starchaser) plans to launch it next year with the help of school children from across the UK.
Starchaser created the Nova 2 for the testing of a number of systems which, if successful, will form the basis of an even bigger rocket to carry travelers into space>In September 2009 the Nova 2 will be launched from a UK launch site in order to test the vessel’s safety systems. The unmanned capsule will be ejected mid-air and is designed to land safely by parachute.
Once validated, the safety system will be integrated into the rocket that will send fare paying passengers into space—so that travelers can be safely returned to earth even in the unlikely event of a major rocket malfunction.
Steve said, “Early next year we will set out on a nationwide tour with the rocket that will visit 100 schools where we hope to involve as many children as possible. We want to inspire a future generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts.”
“Our ultimate aim, though, is to carry people into space and our latest rocket takes us another step closer to realizing that ambition.”
Starchaser Industries’ space tourism initiative will enable the public to purchase flights where they can spend 20 minutes in space and experience three to four minutes of weightlessness. Starchaser astronauts will travel at 3,500 miles per hour, see the curvature of the earth and join the likes of Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong as real space pioneers.
Starchaser Industries (www.starchaser.co.uk) is a privately held, high technology company that specializes in the development, operation and commercialization of space related products and services. Starchaser Industries enables new space related business opportunities by providing safe, reliable, affordable and reusable access to space for both the space tourism and micro- satellite launch markets. Starchaser Industries also has an established and highly successful Outreach Program that engages with both the general public and education. Starchaser’s educational activities complement the UK national curriculum and help inspire and motivate students at all levels to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Starchaser provides students with opportunities for involvement in research and development projects to actively promote the STEM subjects and encourage them to pursue higher education at the graduate and doctorate levels.