[amsat-bb] Dispelling a myth.

John Hackett archie.hackett at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 5 02:49:09 PST 2008

I was rather amused at a question I received the other day ... "Why wasn't Great Britain involved in space?" ... like America, Russia, Japan, India and China.

Errr ... I wonder if the words Jodrell Bank, Blue Streak, Woomera ... and in more modern times, SSTL would mean anything to the person who asked the question.

How about the "other" magician ... MERLIN - (anno 2008) ... 

MERLIN = Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network.

MERLIN operates at frequencies from 151Mhz to 24Ghz. At 5Mhz the resolution of MERLIN is better than 50 milliarcseconds, (quote) ... "somewhat greater than that of the Hubble telescope" ... (unquote).

Oh, I'd say Great Britain 'is'  involved in space. 

Perusal of the JODRELL BANK web pages ought to dispel any myths as to whether the 'Limey's' are involved in space or not.

The Lovell telescope - (76m) -  is the centrepiece of an impressive array of dishes on my old stomping ground at Holmes Chappel - it is also available with it's own "live" web pages. If "precision" - (space tracking) - is your thing I'd suggest you check out the parameters ... where "error" is quoted as ... 0.0000 in azimuth and elevation ... and the diameter of the main dish is *only* 76 meters.

The Russians asked the 'mad professors' at Jodrell Bank to help track Sputnik way back in 1957 ... was that early enough to justify a 'presence' 
in space exploration?.

It wasn't just the Germans who messed about with RADAR and clandestine radios in the war, you know.

I can tell you ... when you start getting 'whacked' on the head by V1 rockets chucked at you from Germany, you start taking an interest in 'space'.

73 John.   <la2qaa at amsat.org>

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