Skip to comments.A Brief History of the HARP Project
Posted on 11/14/2005 8:05:03 AM PST by SunkenCiv
On the twentieth of January 1963 the big gun roared for the first time as it fired its first test shot into the clear blue sky. This was the first time in history that a gun of this calibre had been fired at an angle of near vertical. From a cloud of flames and smoke a 315 kg test slug was hurtled into the air. With a launch velocity of 1000 m/s and a flight time of about 58 seconds the wooden slug rose to an altitude of 3000 meters before coming down a kilometre off shore.
On 21 January the first Martlet 1 was launched. It flew for 145 seconds and achieved an altitude of 26 km. On 23 January a second test slug was flown. On 1 February a second Martlet 1 reached an altitude of 27 km. This was the first flight of a Martlet with a radio transmitter beacon that allowed the vehicle to be tracked throughout the flight. With these four successful flights the first test series ended.
The next series of test flights was conducted in early April using the new Martlet 2. The Martlet 2 vehicles performed well and upper atmospheric research with the 16-inch gun began. By the end of June a new worlds gun-launched altitude record of 92 km had been set with a Martlet 2 by the big 16-inch Barbados gun...
By the end of the year some 20 Martlet 2 vehicles had been flown with altitudes of 80 km being regularly achieved.
(Excerpt) Read more at astronautix.com ...
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