Top Gears UK Shuttle Launch 


Boldly Going Where No Three Wheel Car Has Gone before! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


As a space flight enthusiast, a model rocketeer, and a fan of BBC's Top Gear  TV show. I couldnt resist putting together a feature on an amazing section of the show which aired in February.


If you're not a resident of the UK, you may not be familiar with the Reliant Robin vehicle. It's a three wheeler! Somewhat of a joke here at home. 
 
Once i recall a friend of mine had a skip delivered ready for some work on his house. The day he was due to begin filling the skip and working on his house, he opened his curtains in the morning and couldnt believe what he saw. Somebody had dumped an old Reliant Robin in his skip!
 
Anyway. You may not have even heard of Top Gear ? If not, to put it simply, it's a car show. Not only do the presenters review and road test cars, but they also get up to anything totally ridiculous regarding cars ( or "Automobiles" if you live in our abandoned colony.)
 
On this show, the plan was hatched to convert an old Reliant Robin in a Space fairing  vehicle! Not only that, but a re-usable one at that!

An engineering firm, which had previously worked on a rocket propelled mini which hurtled down a ski jump on the show, was approached to make the rocket launch a reality.
 
The rocket would be the largest, most powerful non commercial rocket ever launched in Europe.
 
The Reliant was converted into the "Reliant Orbiter Vehicle"  It would seperate from the external fuel tank, just as NASA's Shuttle does, and be capable of gliding back to Earth! No person was dumb enough to sit in the car on its maiden voyage, so a Radio Controlled plane expert was drafted in to glide the orbiter down to a safe landing.

So, the sequence was to be, lift off of the one and a half ton launch stack, with 8 tons of thrust in the rockets to prove this proof of concept flight. Side boosters would then seperate, and explosive bolts would fire to detach the Reliant Robin.

I've pulled some screen captures from my TV Rip of the show to help tell the story of the launch. Click on the link below to see this stunning space flight ( coughs ) spectacular!
 
Here in pictures is the maiden launch of the UK's first space shuttle!!!