UK's biggest rocket to launch from Otterburn

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A ROCKET launch aimed at paving the way for space tourism is due to take place at Otterburn on Monday.

Manchester-based Starchaser Industries Limited is scheduled to launch its Skybolt 2 research rocket from the village's Army training area.

Standing at 8.3 metres (27 feet) tall, the reusable British rocket is a collaboration with the Science and Engineering Faculty of the University of Chester and will test the technology needed for future manned tests of Starchaser's larger Space Tourism rocket.

Skybolt 2 will test fly vital electronic systems as well as a bespoke parachute recovery method aimed at ensuring the rocket returns to earth intact.

Starchaser managing director Steve Bennett said: "There are millions of people who'd like to take a trip to outer space and a successful flight of Skybolt will take us another step closer to making this a reality."

Although designed to fly more than 100 kilometres to the edge of space, the maximum altitude for this first flight of the rocket has been limited to 4,000 feet, so as to avoid interfering with commercial air traffic and to ensure a safe landing.

Read the full story in this week's Hexham Courant.

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