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Skylark sounding rockets


The Controlled Weapons Department was created in 1946, within the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) of Farnborough. The Rocket Propulsion Establishment (RPE) was created in Westcoot at the same time. These two organizations were going to initiate the development of all the British activity with regard to rocket propulsion and guidance.

Skylark without booster Early Skylark

Skylark rocket development

As part of the studies undertaken at the RAE in early 1950s, a series of experimental vehicles were studied, among which the CTV5 Series 3 able to send a 45 kg payload to more than 150 km of altitude.

The Gassiot Committee of the Royal Society had defined, since 1941-43, a program of upper atmosphere research. In May 1953, the committee accepted a Ministry of Equipment proposal for using the available rockets with a view to doing atmospheric surveys. In 1955, after a thorough study of the scientists needs and existing rockets, it appeared that the RAE was to be able to provide a rocket capable of launching 45 kg to 210 km of altitude for the International Geophysical Year of 1957.
This rocket, designated Skylark from 1956 forward, was to be 7.60 m long, 44 cm in diameter and 96 cm span. The Raven engine, provided by RPE, burned its 840 kg propellant load (ammonium perchlorate, polyisobutylene binder and aluminium powder) in about thirty seconds. The first model, Raven I, who provided a 1450 kNs total impulse at sea level, was replaced in 1958 by a 1540 kNs Raven II. The relatively weak thrust (about 50 kN) made the vehicle sensitive to the wind, which required the construction of a 25 m high launching tower weighing 30 tons, swiveling (within about ten degrees) on two axes.

A first series of six technological launches was carried out from the Woomera rocket range, in Australia, on and after February 1957. The first three launches having succeeded perfectly, the scientific experiments began as of the fourth launch in November 1957.
After twenty-two launches in single-stage configuration, the first two-stage Skylark was launched in April 1960. The Cuckoo booster rocket used to accelerate Raven had the same diameter and raised the overall rocket height to 9.15m. It burned during approximately four seconds with a 364 kNs total impulse. This version of Skylark could launch a 150 kg payload to 200 km of altitude. The Skylark improvements continued in 1962, with the advent of Raven V (1780 kNs) loaded with a new propellant. However Raven II and VA engines were both available to meet different needs. Minor modifications led to VII and VIA versions respectively, then Raven VII loaded with Raven VI propellant became Raven VIII. In 1964, introduction of devices for payload attitude control was another kind of improvement for the Skylark rocket.

Launches from Europe

The year 1964 saw the first flights carried out on behalf of the ESRO. These first launches from Europe took place in Salto di Quirra (Sardinia), then in Kiruna (Sweden) in 1968.

A new booster rocket, Goldfinch with a 700 kNs total impulse, appeared in February 1968. Maximum altitude with 100 kg payload grew to 380 km with a Raven VI upper stage (Skylark 6) and to 330 km with Raven VIII (Skylark 4). The fast burning Cuckoo III (407 kNs) for short-rail launches, was put into service in 1972.

The ESRO sounding rockets program ended in 1972 with 82 Skylark rockets launched. However, the British national program was not the only user of Skylark because the German program had started to use this type of rockets since 1970.

Current versions

Skylark 12 Skylark 12

The gradual improvements of the sustainer led to the 2230 KNs Raven XI in the late 1974. The most recent versions of this engine comprise 990 kg of propellant and provide more than 2500 KNs in 39 seconds. Used lonely (Skylark 5) it can send a 200 kg payload to 210 km of altitude. With a Goldfinch IIA booster (Skylark 7), the apogee reached with the same payload exceeds 400 km. This version weighs 1700 kg and measures 7.94 m in length (without payload). The most powerful version is Skylark 12; it is a Skylark 7 vehicle equipped with a Cuckoo IV third stage which delivers 452 kNs in about fifteen seconds. Skylark 12 weighs 1935 kg and measures 9.25 m (without payload) and culminates at 575 km with a 200 kg payload. Its first launch occurred in November 1976.

The British sounding rockets program was completed in early 1979 with a total of 266 Skylark launched. Since this date, Skylark launches are carried out by German and Swedish organizations within the framework of national programs or on behalf of the ESA. Today, only the TEXUS and MASER programs of microgravity experiments use this type of sounding rockets, whose manufacture is ended. There is still one remaining Skylark to be launched in 2005.

Tables
a/ Skylark rockets evolution
b/ Skylark launch sites distribution
c/ Skylark launches on behalf of the British national program
d/ Skylark launches on behalf of NASA
e/ Skylark launches on behalf of ESRO
f/ Skylark launches on behalf of German organizations
g/ Skylark launches on behalf of Swedish organizations
Listings after James Wentworth, Jonathan McDowell and Geof O'Callaghan data

Links
Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) - Australian Launch vehicles
Mobile Rocket Base (DLR)


a/ Skylark rockets evolution

Skylark
Scale in meters

TypeBoosterSustainer3rd stage1st flight
 -Raven I-1957
 -Raven II-1958
 CuckooRaven II-1960
 CuckooRaven V-1962
 CuckooRaven VII-1962
1-Raven VIII-1966
2CuckooRaven VIII-1966
3CuckooRaven VI-1965
4GoldfinchRaven VIII-1972
5-Raven XI--
6Goldfinch IIRaven VI-1968
7Goldfinch IIRaven XI-1975
8StonechatWaxwing--
9*Stonechat--(1975)
10Raven XIGosling IV--
10A**Goldfinch IIGosling IV
or Heron
-1974
11Goldfinch IIRaven VICuckoo II or IV-
12Goldfinch IIRaven XICuckoo II or IV1976
14Rook IIIRaven XI--
15Rook IIIRaven XICuckoo V-
16shortened
Stonechat
---
17StonechatMage II--

Notes: * Also designated Falstaff; ** Named Meadowlark after the first flight

b/ Skylark launch sites distribution (to end 1997)

SiteCountry Nbr
AberporthUnited KingdomABP2
AndoyaNorwayAND23
El ArenosilloSpainARN9
Barriero de InfernoBrazilBDI2
KirunaSwedenKIR79
MercedesArgentina#MER2
Salto di QuirraItalySDQ56
WoomeraAustraliaWOO259


c/ Skylark launches on behalf of the British national program

DateSiteVehicleMissionResults
13 Feb 1957WOOSkylarkSL01 TechnologyS (11 km)
22 May 1957WOOSkylarkSL02 TechnologyS (76 km)
23 Jul 1957WOOSkylarkSL03 Test photometersES (84 km)
13 Nov 1957WOOSkylarkSL04 AeronomyS (123 km)
01 Apr 1958WOOSkylarkSL06 TechnologyS (42 km)
17 Apr 1958WOOSkylarkSL07 AeronomyS (146 km)
20 May 1958WOOSkylarkSL05 Test photometersPS (149 km)
05 Jun 1958WOOSkylarkSL22EF
18 Jun 1958WOOSkylarkSL18 AeronomyVF(3 km)
18 Jun 1958WOOSkylarkSL09 AeronomyEF (144 km)
19 Sep 1958WOOSkylarkSL08 AeronomyEF (154 km)
03 Dec 1958WOOSkylarkSL11 AeronomyS (126 km)
04 Mar 1959WOOSkylarkSL21 AeronomyVF (30 km)
06 Apr 1959WOOSkylark VF
01 Jul 1959WOOSkylarkSL19S
08 Jul 1959WOOSkylarkSL14 Ionosphere/Solar radiationPS (93 km)
23 Jul 1959WOOSkylarkSL24EF
19 Aug 1959WOOSkylarkSL17 IonosphereS (144 km)
17 Sep 1959WOOSkylarkSL12 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysPS (132 km)
24 Sep 1959WOOSkylarkSL15 IonosphereS (158 km)
30 Nov 1959WOOSkylarkSL16 AeronomyS (151 km)
30 Nov 1959WOOSkylarkSL60 AeronomyS (163 km)
01 Dec 1959WOOSkylarkSL38 AeronomyEF (159 km)
12 Apr 1960WOOCukoo Skylark SL51 TechnologyS
21 Apr 1960WOOSkylarkSL62 AeronomyEF (141 km)
16 Jun 1960WOOSkylarkSL10 Aeronomy/MeteoritsEF (129 km)
10 Aug 1960WOOSkylarkSL61 AeronomyPS (171 km)
26 Aug 1960WOOSkylarkSL13 Aeronomy/MeteoritsPS (109 km)
16 Nov 1960WOOSkylarkSL33PS
17 Nov 1960WOOCukoo SkylarkSL67 AeronomyPS (247 km)
23 Nov 1960WOOSkylarkSL49 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (160 km)
07 Dec 1960WOOSkylarkSL50 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysVF (35 km)
13 Feb 1961WOOSkylarkSL36 AeronomyS (146 km)
06 Mar 1961WOOCukoo SkylarkSL63 AeronomyS (231 km)
05 Apr 1961WOOSkylarkSL64 AeronomyS (158 km)
01 May 1961WOOSkylarkSL43 UV astronomyS (155 km)
30 May 1961WOOSkylarkSL25S
07 Jun 1961WOOSkylarkSL26S
04 Jul 1961WOOSkylarkSL65 AeronomyPS (70 km)
01 Aug 1961WOOSkylarkSL34 UV astronomyEF (124 km)
27 Sep 1961WOOSkylarkSL40 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (152 km)
24 Oct 1961WOOSkylarkSL37 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (142 km)
08 Nov 1961WOOSkylarkSL35 IonosphereS (152 km)
24 Nov 1961WOOSkylarkSL83 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysVF
05 Dec 1961WOOCukoo SkylarkSL42 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (226 km)
05 Feb 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL35BPS
05 Mar 1962WOOSkylarkSL66 AeronomyPS (233 km)
06 Mar 1962WOOSkylarkSL160 AeronomyPS (173 km)
19 Mar 1962WOOSkylarkSL161 AeronomyS (140 km)
05 Apr 1962WOOSkylarkSL163 AeronomyS (238 km)
10 Apr 1962WOOSkylarkSL162 AeronomyVF
06 Jun 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL35CS
20 Jun 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL45 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysPS (216 km)
05 Jul 1962WOOSkylarkSL164 AeronomyS (111 km)
14 Aug 1962WOOSkylarkSL109 IonosphereS (111 km)
29 Aug 1962WOOSkylarkSL28 
11 Sep 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL44 IonosphereS (232 km)
20 Sep 1962WOOSkylarkSL108 IonosphereS
15 Oct 1962WOOSkylarkSL82 IonospherePS (154 km)
13 Nov 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL114 Aeronomy/Solar X-raysEF (206 km)
22 Nov 1962WOOSkylarkSL27S
28 Nov 1962WOOCukoo SkylarkSL165 AeronomyS (230 km)
04 Dec 1962WOOSkylarkSL166 AeronomyS (105 km)
01 Mar 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL84 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (197 km)
11 Mar 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL85 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (211 km)
17 Apr 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL167 AeronomyS (235 km)
23 May 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL115 Aeronomy/X-ray astronomyS (207 km)
29 May 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL127 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (207 km)
18 Jun 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL126 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (208 km)
20 Jun 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL46 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyPS (232 km)
25 Jul 1963WOOSkylarkSL29EF
02 Aug 1963WOOSkylarkSL86VF
05 Sep 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL87S
02 Oct 1963WOOSkylarkSL81A IonosphereS (146 km)
15 Oct 1963WOOSkylarkSL169 AeronomyS (136 km)
15 Oct 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL171 AeronomyEF (206 km)
16 Oct 1963WOOSkylarkSL170 AeronomyS (130 km)
16 Oct 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL168 AeronomyEF (186 km)
30 Oct 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL134S
19 Nov 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL103 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyVF
02 Dec 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL135S
03 Dec 1963WOOCukoo SkylarkSL104 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyVF
04 Feb 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL88PS
20 Feb 1964WOOSkylarkSL30VF
10 Mar 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL129 Ionosphere/X, Gamma astronomyPS (175 km)
12 Mar 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL128 Ionosphere/X, Gamma astronomyPS (176 km)
11 Apr 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL136S
14 May 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL20S
15 Jul 1964WOOSkylarkSL31S
17 Jul 1964 SkylarkSL32S
11 Aug 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL301 Solar astronomy (s)S (145 km)
20 Aug 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL121 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (192 km)
01 Sep 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL137 AeronomyS (211 lm)
04 Sep 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL87AVF
17 Sep 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL120 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysPS (192 km)
24 Sep 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL133 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysPS (180 km)
29 Sep 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL132 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (175 km)
27 Oct 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL47 Ionosphere/X-ray, UV astronomyPS (175 km)
16 Dec 1964WOOSkylarkSL88A 
17 Dec 1964WOOCukoo SkylarkSL302 Solar astronomy (s)S (167 km)
03 Mar 1965WOOSkylark 3SL87BS
17 Mar 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL140 Ionosphere/UV astronomyVF(19 km)
25 Mar 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL141 Ionosphere/UV astronomyS (174 km)
09 Apr 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL303 Solar X astronomy(s)S (161 km)
29 Apr 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL464 AeronomyVF
29 Apr 1965WOOSkylarkSL363 AeronomyPS (137 km)
29 Apr 1965WOOSkylarkSL364 AeronomyS (132 km)
29 Apr 1965WOOSkylarkSL461 AeronomyPS
30 Apr 1965WOOSkylarkSL462 AeronomyS (140 km)
30 Apr 1965WOOSkylarkSL463 AeronomyS (135 km)
30 Apr 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL362 AeronomyEF (175 km)
11 May 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL361 AeronomyS (181 km)
13 May 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL139 IonosphereS (187 km)
19 May 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL138 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (179 km)
01 Jul 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL106 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (130 km)
14 Jul 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL48 UV astronomyS (182 km)
29 Jul 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL105 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysVF
09 Sep 1965WOOSkylark 3SL88BS
18 Oct 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL39 PhotometryS (205 km)
20 Oct 1965WOOSkylark 3SL306 X-ray, UV solar astronomy(s)S (213 km)
19 Nov 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL130 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysPS (138 km)
13 Dec 1965WOOCukoo SkylarkSL131 Ionosphere/Solar X-raysS (130 km)
02 Feb 1966WOOSkylarkSL307 X-ray, UV solar astronomy(s)S (216 km)
16 Mar 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL581S
10 Apr 1966WOOSkylark 2SL582S
21 Apr 1966WOOSkylark 2SL583S
05 May 1966WOOSkylark 3SL304 X-ray solar astronomy(s)S (203 km)
31 May 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL422 IonosphereS (161 km)
02 Jun 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL327 Ionosphere/Solar radiationS (176 km)
09 Jun 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL328 Ionosphere/Solar radiationS (184 km)
23 Jun 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL421 IonosphereS (170 km)
28 Jul 1966WOOSkylark 3SL88CS
25 Oct 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL321 IonosphereS (211 km)
25 Oct 1966WOOSkylark 2SL322 IonosphereEF (119 km)
27 Oct 1966WOOSkylarkSL325 IonosphereS (173 km)
27 Oct 1966WOOSkylark 2SL323 IonosphereS (212 km)
27 Oct 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL324 IonosphereEF
18 Nov 1966WOOSkylark 3SL481EF
08 Dec 1966WOOSkylark 3SL405 X-ray solar astronomy(s)VF
14 Dec 1966WOOCukoo SkylarkSL581AS
04 Mar 1967WOOSkylark 3SL406 X-ray solar astronomy(s)S (200 km)
04 Apr 1967WOOSkylark 3SL426 IonospherePS (220 km)
10 Apr 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL118 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (167 km)
12 Apr 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL119 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyS (160 km)
21 Apr 1967WOOSkylark 3SL425 IonosphereS (218 km)
27 Apr 1967WOOSkylarkSL482 
08 Aug 1967WOOSkylark 3SL305 X-ray solar astronomy (s)S (182 km)
16 Aug 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL581BS
24 Aug 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL521 AstronomyPS (178 km)
29 Aug 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL522 AstronomyPS (124 km)
01 Nov 1967WOOSkylark 3SL407 X-ray solar astronomy (s)S (206 km)
14 Nov 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL423 Ionosphere/Solar radiationS (178 km)
17 Nov 1967WOOSkylarkSL424 Ionosphere/Solar radiationS (181 km)
01 Dec 1967WOOCukoo SkylarkSL422AS
08 Feb 1968WOOSkylark 6SL583AS
20 Mar 1968WOOSkylark 3SL408 X-ray, UV solar astronomy (s)S (217 km)
31 May 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL762 AeronomyS (238 km)
31 May 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL761 AeronomyS (242 km)
12 Jun 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL723 X-ray astronomyS (184 km)
08 Jul 1968WOOSkylark 3SL403 X-ray astronomy (s)S (177 km)
24 Jul 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL523 IonosphereS (258 km)
06 Aug 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL524 IonosphereS (235 km)
29 Aug 1968WOOSkylark 3SL501 Ionosphere/Solar UV (s)PS (210 km)
09 Oct 1968WOOSkylark 1SL791RS
05 Dec 1968WOOSkylark 3SL601 Solar astronomy (s)S (182 km)
07 Dec 1968WOOCukoo SkylarkSL725 IonosphereS (146 km)
21 Jan 1969WOOSkylark 6SL781EF
23 jan 1969WOOCukoo SkylarkSL726 IonosphereS (149 km)
01 Apr 1969WOOCukoo SkylarkSL724 X-ray astronomyS (192 km)
03 Apr 1969WOOSkylark 6SL502 Ionosphere/Solar EUV (s)S (273 km)
17 Apr 1969WOOSkylark 3SL606 Solar astronomy (s)ES (202 km)
22 Apr 1969WOOSkylark 3SL604 Solar astronomy (s)S (180 km)
14 May 1969WOOSkylark 3SL404 Solar astronomy (s)VF (178 km)
15 Jul 1969WOOCukoo SkylarkSL722 IonospherePS (216 km)
17 Jul 1969WOOSkylark 3SL729 IonosphereS (244 km)
25 Jul 1969WOOCukoo SkylarkSL721 IonosphereS (213 km)
30 Jul 1969WOOSkylark 3SL730 IonosphereS (262 km)
21 Aug 1969WOOSkylark 3SL605 X-ray solar astronomy (s)PS (197 km)
16 Oct 1969WOOSkylark 3SL861 AeronomyS (318 km)
17 Oct 1969WOOSkylark 3SL862 AeronomyS (318 km)
20 Oct 1969WOOSkylark 3SL586 PhotometryS
22 Oct 1969WOOSkylark 3SL821 X-ray astronomy/IonosphereVF (216 km)
18 Nov 1969WOOSkylark 3SL602 X-ray astronomy (s)S (206 km)
20 Nov 1969WOOSkylark 3SL801 UV solar astronomy (s)VF (274 km)
27 Nov 1969WOOSkylark 3SL603 UV solar astronomy (s)S (180 km)
12 Mar 1970WOOSkylark 3SL921 X-ray astronomyEF (247 km)
18 Mar 1970WOOSkylark 3SL901 X-ray astronomy (s)S (208 km)
20 Mar 1970WOOSkylark 3SL401 UV astronomy (s)S (181 km)
24 Mar 1970WOOSkylark 3SL802 X-ray astronomy (s)ES (179 km)
07 Apr 1970WOOSkylark 3SL803 UV solar astronomy (s)S (204 km)
16 Apr 1970WOOSkylark 3SL728 Aeronomy/X-ray astronomyS (210 km)
10 Jul 1970WOOCukoo SkylarkSL727 Ionosphere/X-ray astronomyPS (203 km)
14 Jul 1970WOOSkylark 6SL971 Technology/X-ray astronomyS (223 km)
16 Jul 1970WOOSkylark 3SL811 Astronomy (s)PS (164 km)
08 Oct 1970WOOSkylark 3SL972 Technology/X-ray astronomyS (232 km)
14 Oct 1970WOOSkylark 3SL1021 X-ray astronomyS (270 km)
11 Nov 1970WOOSkylarkSL905 X-ray astronomy/Ionosphere (s)PS(183 km)
20 Nov 1970WOOSkylark 3SL904 X-ray astronomy (s)S (209 km)
25 Nov 1970WOOSkylark 3SL804 X-ray solar astronomy (s)PS (183 km)
?? Jan 1971ABPSkylarkRange test 
14 Jan 1971ABPSkylarkRange test 
29 Jan 1971WOOSkylark 3SL1001 X-ray astronomy (s)S (203 km)
02 Mar 1971WOOSkylark 3SL922 IonosphereS (223 km)
10 May 1971WOOSkylark 6SL812 X-ray astronomy (s)EF (219 km)
05 Aug 1971WOOSkylark 6SL902 Solar astronomy (s)EF (272 km)
27 Sep 1971WOOSkylark 6SL1002 X-ray astronomy /occultation (s)S (222 km)
07 Oct 1971WOOSkylark 6SL973 X-ray astronomyS (230 km)
24 Oct 1971WOOSkylark 6SL974 X-ray astronomy/occultationS (245 km)
30 Nov 1971WOOSkylark 3SL1101 Solar astronomy (s)S (193 km)
10 Dec 1971WOOSkylark 3SL903 X-ray astronomy (s)S (198 km)
16 Mar 1972WOOSkylarkSL1023 IonosphereS (259 km)
17 Mar 1972WOOSkylark 6SL1009 Solar astronomy (s)PS (237 km)
27 Mar 1972WOOSkylark 6SL1081 Technology/remote sensing (s)S (297 km)
05 Jul 1972WOOSkylark 6SL1191S
17 Oct 1972WOOSkylarkSL1022 IonospherePS (143 km)
23 Oct 1972WOOSkylark 6SL402 X-ray, UV astronomy (s)PS (210 km)
26 Oct 1972WOOSkylark 3SL1003 X-ray astronomy (s)S (194 km)
07 Dec 1972WOOSkylarkSL1202 X-ray astronomy/occultation (s)EF (248 km)
11 Dec 1972WOOSkylark 3SL1005 Ionosphere (s)PS (195 km)
30 Jan 1973WOOSkylark 3SL1205 X-ray astronomy/occultation (s)PS (234 km)
28 Feb 1973WOOSkylark 6SL1010 X-ray astronomy (s)PS (199 km)
14 Mar 1973WOOSkylark 6SL1004 Solar astronomy (s)S (226 km)
20 Mar 1973WOOSkylark 6SL1102 Solar astronomy (s)S (225 km)
22 Mar 1973#MERSkylarkSL1182 Remote sensingS (240 km)
28 Mar 1973#MERSkylarkSL1181 Remote sensingPS (240 km)
17 Apr 1973WOOSkylark 6SL1011 X-ray astronomy (s)S (214 km)
16 Jun 1973WOOSkylark SL1111 Astronomy (s)S (220 km)
17 Jul 1973WOOSkylark 3SL1291PS
04 Aug 1973KIRSkylarkSL1081/ER1 Remote sensingVF
16 Oct 1973ANDSkylarkSL1121 Auroral studiesS (215 km)
30 Oct 1973ANDSkylarkSL1122 Auroral studiesS (230 km)
16 Nov 1973ANDSkylarkSL1123 IonosphereS (215 km)
26 Nov 1973WOOSkylark 6SL1206 Solar astronomy (s)S (238 km)
05 Dec 1973ANDSkylarkSL1124 Auroral studiesS (222 km)
04 Feb 1974WOOSkylark 6SL1203 X-ray, UV astronomy (s)S (200 km)
23 Apr 1974WOOSkylark 6SL1207 Ionosphere (s)S (177 km)
18 Jun 1974WOOSkylark 6SL1104 X-ray astronomy (s)S (234 km)
22 Jul 1974WOOSkylark 3SL1292S
04 Oct 1974WOOSkylark 6SL1012 Astronomy (s)S (196 km)
07 Oct 1974ARNSkylark 6SL1304 Astronomy/occultation (s)PS (190 km)
10 Oct 1974WOOSkylark 10ASL1471 TechnologyS (270 km)
01 Nov 1974ANDSkylarkSL1221 Auroral studiesS (225 km)
28 Nov 1974WOOSkylark 6SL911 UV astronomy (s)EF (203 km)
25 Feb 1975WOOSkylark 7SL1301 Solar astronomy (s)S (282 km)
07 Mar 1975WOOSkylarkSL1295 
24 Jun 1975WOOSkylark 6SL1105 X-ray astronomy (s)S (180 km)
24 Nov 1975WOOSkylark 7SL1112 X-ray astronomy (s)S (251 km)
30 Jan 1976WOOSkylark 7SL1302 X-ray astronomy (s)PS (278 km)
12 May 1976WOOSkylark 7SL1115 X-ray astronomy (s)ES (231 km)
27 May 1976WOOSkylarkSL1271 Technology/AeronomyS (254 km)
10 Jun 1976WOOSkylarkSL1212 X-ray astronomy (s)S (231 km)
17 Jun 1976WOOSkylark 7SL1501 X-ray astronomy (s)S (258 km)
17 Jul 1976ARNSkylark 7SL1402 X-ray astronomy (s)EF (256 km)
04 Nov 1976WOOSkylark 6SL1306 X-ray astronomy (s)EF (191 km)
21 Nov 1976ANDSkylark 12SL1422 Auroral studiesS (715 km) 1st flight
02 Dec 1976WOOSkylark 7SL1114 UV astronomy (s)EF (263 km)
11 Dec 1976ANDSkylark 12SL1425 IonosphereS (695 km)
28 Apr 1977WOOSkylark 7SL1115 X-ray astronomy (s)ES
08 Jun 1977WOOSkylark 3SL1298S
13 Oct 1977ANDSkylark 12SL1423 IonosphereS (787 km)
17 Nov 1977ANDSkylark 12SL1421 IonosphereS (718 km)
12 May 1978WOOSkylark 7SL1305 Solar astronomy (s)S
10 Nov 1978ANDSkylarkSL1424 IonosphereS
15 Nov 1978WOOSkylark 3SL1296S
13 Dec 1978WOOSkylark 3SL1297S
01 Mar 1979WOOSkylark 6SL1299S
09 May 1988KIRSkylark 7BAe test flightS (262 km)


d/ Skylark launches on behalf of NASA

DateSiteVehicleMissionResults
18 Sep 1961WOOCukoo Skylark9.01 GG AstronomyPS (193 km)
04 Oct 1961WOOCukoo Skylark9.02 GG AstronomyPS (195 km)
01 Nov 1961WOOCukoo Skylark9.03 GG AstronomyS (193 km)
20 Nov 1961WOOCukoo Skylark9.04 GG AstronomyS (209 km)


e/ Skylark launches on behalf of ESRO

DateSiteVehicleMissionResults
06 Jul 1964SDQCuckoo SkylarkS01/1 Ba and NH3 releaseS (183 km)
08 Jul 1964SDQCuckoo SkylarkS01/2 Ba and NH3 releaseS (183 km)
31 Mar 1965SDQSkylarkS03/1 IonosphereVF (45 km)
03 Apr 1965SDQSkylarkS03/2 IonosphereS (172 km)
11 Aug 1965SDQCuckoo SkylarkS05/1 UV AstronomySF (215 km)
30 Sep 1965SDQCuckoo SkylarkS04/1 TMA release, grenadesS (250 km)
02 Oct 1965SDQCuckoo SkylarkS04/2 TMA release, grenadesS (250 km)
16 Jun 1966SDQCuckoo SkylarkS17/1 Ba releaseS (231 km)
18 Jun 1966SDQCuckoo SkylarkS17/2 Ba releaseS (231 km)
20 Jun 1966SDQCuckoo Skylark, SK7S08/1 Ba release, ozone exptSF (216 km)
28 Jun 1966SDQCuckoo Skylark, SK8S08/2 Ba release, ozone exptS (228 km)
08 Jul 1966SDQCuckoo SkylarkS18/1 NH3 releaseS (244 km)
18 Jul 1966SDQCuckoo SkylarkS18/2 NH3 releaseS (249 km)
26 Nov 1966SDQSkylark 3, SK16S11/1 UV/Vis. astronomyVF (2.5 km)
22 May 1967SDQSkylark 3, SK17S11/2 UV/Vis. astronomyS (194 km)
25 May 1967SDQCuckoo Skylark, SK19S05/2 UV astronomyS (220 km)
27 Sep 1967SDQCuckoo SkylarkS26/1 Ionosphere, solar X-raysS (183 km)
04 Oct 1967SDQCuckoo SkylarkS19/1 IonosphereS (207 km)
07 Oct 1967SDQCuckoo SkylarkS26/2 Ionosphere, solar X-raysS (164 km)
10 Oct 1967SDQCuckoo SkylarkS19/2 IonosphereS (206 km)
27 Mar 1968KIRSkylark 1S16/1 Auroral studiesS (172 km)
07 Oct 1968SDQSkylark 3S47/1 UV AstronomyS (208 km)
22 Nov 1968SDQSkylark 3S41/1 Solar X-raysS (210 km)
25 Nov 1968KIRSkylark 2S43/1 Auroral studiesS (212 km)
03 Dec 1968SDQSkylark 3S27/1 UV/Vis. AstronomyS (198 km)
15 Mar 1969KIRSkylark 2S43/2 Auroral studiesS (210 km)
05 Jul 1969SDQCuckoo Skylark S38/1 Propylene releaseS (240 km)
06 Jul 1969SDQSkylark 3S64/1 CH4/O2 releaseS (275 km)
11 Jul 1969SDQCuckoo SkylarkS38/2 Propylene releaseS (203 km)
13 Jul 1969SDQSkylark 3S64/2 CH4/O2 releaseS (280 km)
05 Oct 1969KIRSkylark 2S29/1 TMA release, auroral studiesS (234 km)
17 Oct 1969KIRSkylark 2S29/2 TMA release, auroral studiesS (230 km)
24 Oct 1969SDQCuckoo SkylarkS68/1 Cosmic rays(184 km)
10 Nov 1969KIRSkylark 2S46/1 Auroral studiesS (214 km)
24 Jan 1970SDQSkylark 1S56A/1 Solar astronomyS (156 km)
06 Feb 1970SDQSkylark 2S44/1 Astronomy(211 km)
11 Feb 1970WOOSkylark 3S72 UV astronomyPS
14 Feb 1970KIRSkylarkS66/1 Ionosphere/AeronomyS
24 Feb 1970KIRSkylarkS70/1 IonosphereS
25 Feb 1970KIRSkylarkS61/1 AeronomyS (221 km)
26 Feb 1970KIRSkylarkS61/2 AeronomyS (225 km)
02 Apr 1970KIRSkylarkS66/2 Ionosphere/AeronomyS
04 Apr 1970KIRSkylarkS28/1 Ionosphere/AeronomyS
22 Jun 1970SDQSkylark 2S68/2 
03 Jul 1970SDQSkylark 1S63/2 IonosphereS (150 km)
08 Jul 1970SDQSkylark 1S63/1 IonosphereS (149 km)
23 Jul 1970SDQSkylark 1S56A/2 Solar astronomyS (137 km)
24 Jul 1970SDQSkylark 1S65/1 IonosphereS (125 km)
27 Jul 1970SDQSkylark 1S65/2 IonosphereS (128 km)
16 Oct 1970WOOSkylark 3S53 Solar astronomyEF
27 Oct 1970KIRSkylarkS67/1 Auroral studiesS
29 Oct 1970KIRSkylarkS67/2 Auroral studiesS
06 Dec 1970SDQSkylarkS69 X-ray astronomyS (187 km)
28 Jan 1971KIRSkylarkS46/2 IonosphereS (220 km)
06 Feb 1971SDQSkylark 3S80/1 IonosphereS (222 km)
06 Feb 1971SDQSkylark 3S80/2 IonosphereS (226 km)
07 Feb 1971SDQSkylark 3S80/3 IonosphereS (214 km)
22 Feb 1971WOOSkylark 3S85 UV astronomyEF
26 Feb 1971SDQSkylark 3S54 Solar astronomy XS (250 km)
11 Mar 1971SDQSkylark 3S55 UV/X-ray astronomyS (159 km)
12 Mar 1971KIRSkylarkS16/2 IonosphereS
15 Mar 1971KIRSkylarkS87/1 AeronomyS (191 km)
24 Mar 1971KIRSkylarkS87/2 AeronomyS (192 km)
25 Mar 1971SDQSkylark S56B/1 Ionosphere/Solar radiationEF (130 km)
14 May 1971SDQSkylark 1S56B/2 Ionosphere/Solar radiationS (112 km)
02 Jul 1971SDQSkylark 3S73 Solar astronomyS (224 km)
29 Sep 1971WOOSkylark 3S47/1 Astronomy (Photometry)S
12 Oct 1971WOOSkylark 3S81S
20 Oct 1971SDQSkylark 3S89 Solar astronomyEF (189 km)
16 Nov 1971SDQSkylark 2S44/2 AstronomyS (202 km)
25 Nov 1971KIRSkylarkS70/2 IonosphereS
14 Dec 1971SDQSkylark 2S82(151 km)
28 Feb 1972SDQSkylark 3S84 Aeronomy(242 km)
28 Feb 1972SDQSkylark 3S90 Aeronomy(251 km)
02 Mar 1972KIRSkylarkS77/1 Auroral studiesS (237 km)
24 Mar 1972SDQSkylark 2S75/1 Aeronomy(136 km)
30 Mar 1972SDQSkylark 4S75/2 Aeronomy(133 km)
25 Jun 1972SDQSkylark 3S91 X-ray astronomyPS (213 km)
20 Sep 1972SDQSkylark 3S94 X-ray astronomy 
24 Sep 1972KIRSkylark 4S77/2 Auroral studiesS (227 km)
13 Oct 1972KIRSkylark 2S105 Auroral studiesS (207 km)
02 Nov 1972WOOSkylark 6S95 X-ray astronomyS (211 km)


f/ Skylark launches on behalf of German organizations

DateSiteVehicleMissionResults
22 Mar 1970SDQSkylark 3SN5/1 Aeronomy 
13 Oct 1970SDQSkylark 3SN5/2 AeronomyS (288 km)
02 Oct 1973ARNSkylark 4S93 UV Astronomy/KohoutekS (186 km)
06 Oct 1973ARNSkylark 4S92 UV AstronomyS (260 km)
27 Nov 1973ARNSkylark 4S74 UV AstronomyS (246 km)
13 Jan 1974ARNSkylark 4 UV Astronomy/KohoutekSF (245 km)
14 Mar 1975WOOSkylark 6S98 Helios-A 
09 Oct 1975ARNSkylark 6S103 
04 Jan 1976ARNSkylark 3Winter AnomalyS (117 km)
21 Jan 1976ARNSkylark 3Winter AnomalyS (119 km)
27 Jan 1976KIRSkylark Heatpipe IVF (explosion)
22 Jan 1977ANDSkylark Polar Upper Atmosphere A-F6-F2S
08 Feb 1977ANDSkylark Polar Upper Atmosphere A-F6-F2S
20 Feb 1977ANDSkylark Polar Upper Atmosphere A-B3-F3S
16 Mar 1977ANDSkylark Polar Upper Atmosphere A-B3-F4S
13 Oct 1977ANDSkylark 12Substorm PhenomenaS
02 Nov 1977ANDSkylark 12Substorm PhenomenaS
13 Dec 1977KIRSkylarkTEXUS 1S (265 km)
30 Jan 1978ANDSkylark 12Substorm PhenomenaS (530 km)
30 Jan 1978ANDSkylark 12Substorm PhenomenaS (541 km)
16 Nov 1978KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 2S (265 km)
22 Feb 1979WOOSkylark 6Astro 4/2S (192 km)
04 Mar 1979WOOSkylark 7Astro 4/1S (258 km)
12 Oct 1979BDISkylark 12Astro HeliumS (828 km)
28 Apr 1980KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 3A(253 km)
16 Nov 1980KIRSkylark 7Energy E2(230 km)
30 Apr 1981KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 3BS (253 km)
08 May 1981KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 4S (258 km)
09 Dec 1981KIRSkylark 7Energy E2S (237 km)
29 Apr 1982KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 5S (256 km)
08 May 1982KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 6S (256 km)
05 May 1983KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 7S (227 km)
13 May 1983KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 8S (264 km)
27 Jan 1984ANDSkylark 12Caesar 1 
10 Feb 1984KIRSkylark 6MAP/WINE(179 km)
03 May 1984KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 9S (258 km)
15 May 1984KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 10S (216 km)
30 Jan 1985ANDSkylarkCaesar 2 
03 Mar 1985BDISkylark 12Interzodiac 1 
27 Apr 1985KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 11S (266 km)
06 May 1985KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 12S (253 km)
30 Apr 1986KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 13S (246 km)
12 May 1986KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 14AEF (250 km)
03 May 1987KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 14B(252 km)
09 May 1987KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 15VF
25 Aug 1987WOOSkylark 7Super NovaS
23 Nov 1987KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 16VF
03 Aug 1988BDISkylark 12Interzodiac 2 
28 Nov 1988KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 19 (MBB-ERNO)S (244 km)
26 Nov 1988ANDSkylark 2Rose 1 
02 Dec 1988KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 20 (MBB-ERNO)S (238 km)
05 Dec 1988ANDSkylark 2Rose 2 
07 Feb 1989KIRSkylark 2Rose 3(124 km)
09 Feb 1989ANDSkylark 2Rose 4(123 km)
30 Apr 1989KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 21 (MBB-ERNO)S (268 km)
03 May 1989KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 22 (MBB-ERNO)S (223 km)
25 Nov 1989KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 23 (MBB-ERNO)S (249 km)
06 Dec 1989KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 24 (MBB-ERNO)S (244 km)
06 Mar 1990KIRSkylark 6SISSI 1(178 km)
13 May 1990KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 25 (MBB-ERNO)S (234 km)
15 May 1990KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 26 (MBB-ERNO)S (235 km)
26 Jul 1990KIRSkylark 6SISSI 2(168 km)
02 Aug 1990KIRSkylark 7SISSI 3(239 km)
15 Nov 1990KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 27 (MBB-ERNO)S (249 km)
25 Nov 1990KIRSkylark 12Maxus test (SSC+MBB)(534 km)
09 Apr 1991KIRSkylark 7SISSI 4(245 km)
23 Nov 1991KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 28 (MBB-ERNO)S (239 km)
22 Nov 1992KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 29S (230 km)
01 May 1993KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 30S (234 km)
26 Nov 1993KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 31S (257 km)
05 May 1994KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 32S (235 km)
30 Nov 1994KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 33S (267 km)
02 Mar 1996KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 34S (232 km)
24 Nov 1996KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 35S (267 km)
07 Feb 1998KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 36S (238 km)
27 Mar 2000KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 37S (243 km)
02 Apr 2000KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 38S (250 km)
08 May 2001KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 39S (248 km)
08 Apr 2003KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 40S (246 km)
02 Dec 2004KIRSkylark 7TEXUS 41S (231 km)


g/ Skylark launches on behalf of Swedish organizations

DateSiteVehicleMissionResults
04 Aug 1973KIRSkylarkER 1 (SSC) Remote sensingVF
08 Feb 1977KIRSkylarkS22 Aurora (SSC)(212 km)
30 Jul 1978KIRSkylark 1S26-1 Ion (SSC) NLC(86 km)
13 Aug 1978KIRSkylark 1S26-2 Ion (SSC) NLC(72 km)
25 Nov 1990KIRSkylark 12Maxus test (SSC+MBB)(534 km)
02 Nov 1993KIRSkylark 7MASER 6 (SSC)S (243 km)
03 May 1996KIRSkylark 7MASER 7 (SSC)S (252 km)
14 May 1999KIRSkylark 7MASER 8 (SSC)S (260 km)
16 Mar 2002KIRSkylark 7MASER 9 (SSC)S (260 km)


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Please contact Jean-Jacques Serra <JJ.Serra@wanadoo.fr> for comments, corrections or questions