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 Rocket technology and politics.

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PaulRyckier
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PaulRyckier

Posts : 4226
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

Rocket technology and politics. Empty
PostSubject: Rocket technology and politics.   Rocket technology and politics. EmptyMon 24 Feb 2020, 19:06

I remember vaguely about the OTRAG story, while it was in the former Belgian Congo and it was German...and with Mobutu Sese Seko...
And as I saw today a documentary about the founder of OTRA: Lutz Kayser

The trailer of the documentary:



If you don't understand German, you can install in my opinion reliable English subtitles.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8150730/

Perhaps the most pregnant survey about Lutz Kayser is this one of his nephew? niece?
From the "here" in the text:
http://www.astronautix.com/o/otrag.html

And from this text:

Kayser's activities made the great powers nervous. The USSR and France were not interested in Germany achieving an indigenous long-range rocket activity. American rocket makers were not interested in having a low-cost competitor. A propaganda campaign began, alleging OTRAG was a cover for German and South African nuclear cruise missile development. Crude Soviet-source disinformation was eagerly picked up and given credibility by the American mainstream media. The government of the Congo was pressured by the Russians to withdraw permission to use the site. OTRAG left the country in April 1979.
Soviet president Brezhnev and French president Giscard d'Estaing applied further heavy political pressure on the German government to completely cancel the project. After a total investment of $ 150 million, OTRAG had to terminate production in Germany. Tooling and materials were relocated to a new combination assembly and launch site in a remote area of the Sahara Desert, in Libya.

Dirk, my Dutch born English friend, for once it is not a conspiracy, no myth, but reality...and that in our Wink former Belgian Congo under the great leader Mobutu Seseko (in my time in the international factory where I worked, there were quite some jokes about Mobutu...) and above your Wink  Rhodesia of the time.
Did you also have the jokes about Mobutu or was that leader of yours even worser?

Kind regards, Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

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Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Rocket technology and politics. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Rocket technology and politics.   Rocket technology and politics. EmptyTue 25 Feb 2020, 11:20

I seem to remember something from my childhood about the UK having a space programme but I'm pretty sure it fell by the wayside once the Powers-that-Be in the UK realised that post-war UK wasn't going to be the same as pre-war UK (not having access to resources in the former Empire for one thing).  I'll have to do some research on the subject - unless a fellow Res Historian has better knowledge than myself and can give pertinent information on the subject.
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Meles meles
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Meles meles

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Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

Rocket technology and politics. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Rocket technology and politics.   Rocket technology and politics. EmptyTue 25 Feb 2020, 18:00

Yes, from wiki, British Space Programme: "During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of efforts were made to develop a British satellite launch capability. A British rocket named Black Arrow did succeed in placing a single British satellite, Prospero, into orbit from a launch site in Australia in 1971. Prospero remains the only British satellite to be put into orbit using a British vehicle. Rockets were tested on the Isle of Wight and RAF Spadeadam, Cumbria and both tested and launched from Woomera in South Australia. These included the Black Knight and Blue Streak rockets.

A major satellite launch vehicle was proposed in 1957 based on Blue Streak and Black Knight technology. This was named Black Prince, but the project was cancelled in 1960 due to lack of funding. Blue Streak rockets continued to be launched as the first stage of the European Europa carrier rocket until Europa's cancellation in 1972.

The smaller Black Arrow launcher was developed from Black Knight and was first launched in 1969 from Woomera. In 1971, the last Black Arrow (R3) launched Prospero X-3, the only British satellite to be launched using a British rocket.

By 1972, UK government funding of both Blue Streak (missile) and Black Arrow had ceased, and no further government-backed British space rockets were developed."
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