Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #2677


      After spending £1.2billion contributing to the European Galileo Sat Nav programme, we won’t be allowed to use it for security reasons (as we’ll be outside of the EU by the time it’s operational).

      No worries, say UK boffins, we’ll launch our own system!

      So we get a duplicated system (paid for entirely by ourselves), more space junk, more money spent from the brexit money tree (tighten your belts fellow paupers – we’re in this together remember)

      This must be the most bizarre revelation yet and highlights once and for all the pompous, wasteful nature of the populist movement known as Brexit™ (kills 99.9% of wonky bannana’s – don’t you know)

      Is this the weirdest example yet of the vain, collectively self harming nature of project Britain? Or is there weirder shit yet to come? (I’m beginning to find it funny in a masochistic kind of way).

    • #2678


      As my sat nav regularly tells me “turn around when possible”

    • #2679


      Madness indeed.

      The EU would be frankly insane to cut the UK out of defensive stuff.

      It’s also not clear to me if “military grade” GNSS is as important as it was thought to be when the decision to embark on Galileo was made. GNSS spoofing is now pretty easy, and jamming is trivial. There aren’t many applications that need the military level additional precision, and for those that do the state of the art in multi-sensor-fusion inertial and terrain navigation has really come on – partly accuracy, partly miniaturisation. An interesting aside is the recent interest in building mobile “Pulsar Navigation Receivers” that receive much harder to jam X-ray beacons broadcast from the heavens to provide some redundancy against GNSS jamming/spoofing.

      If we do have to build own, we have a head start seeing as the satellite bus and the physics payload for many of the satellites was built and integrated by SSTL in the UK…

      I don’t understand the split in Galileo between the EU and ESA, but our ESA membership is not contingent on our EU membership.

      In my view European space access is right up poo creek with private North American firms (SpaceX and Blue Origin) poised to take over all commercial business from ESA, and ESAs plans for future rockets looking woefully uncompetitive. Heck, in ten years the USA could be launching 200 metric ton orbital weapons platforms in one go on Musk’s BFR and the EU will just be lumbering up with a solid rocket booster hydrolox disposable stick 1/10th the capacity and more expensive. One of the few really innovative / disruptive things the EU is involved in for space is the UKs Skylon (son of HOTOL) but that’s starting to look like to little to late and not cost competitive with giant reusable VTVL boosters.

      Of all the squandered opportunities the UK is littered with, turning our back on space launches (the only nation ever to succeed then quit) and handing everything over to the Yanks and the French tops my list, except maybe not building the Avro 730.

      • #2680


        While I don’t understand 90% of what you have written (my fault not yours) it sounds very plausible.

        So I agree with you.

      • #2681


        I don’t understand the split in Galileo between the EU and ESA, but our ESA membership is not contingent on our EU membership.

        It’s got ‘Eu’ in the name so maybe it’s fair game. We were in Euratom before we joined the EU, but we’re due to leave that.

        • #2682


          @steve I can’t help but feel I’m missing something big here. There is no such interest in leaving the other big science collaborations that are not EU organisations, such as CERN, ESA or ESO.

          Euratom is by far the most important to the average citizen, as it is important to the delivery and sourcing of nuclear fuel and medical isotopes as opposed to more academic research or pork barrel space projects.

          The common interpretation of us leaving seems to be that the EJC has become the arbiter for Euratom and that is politically untenable for the Tories. I wonder if actually there is some aspect of Euratom’s watchdog role that is spoiling someone’s plans for nuclear shenanigans the UK. If so I would be very worried as I don’t trust the UK establishment one iota when it comes to this area. [walks off muttering the lyrics to Time of the Preacher…]

      • #2683


        I agree with most of what you’ve said, but a couple of points:

        1. Pulsar navigation is envisaged as being used by space vehicles. As far as I’m aware, detecting pulsars inside the atmosphere requires large antennas that are unfeasible for mobile use.

        turning our back on space launches (the only nation ever to succeed then quit)

        2. The only successful launch by a UK-built launch vehicle with a real payload was the Black Arrow R3 back in 1971. Two of the three previous launches failed. While you may be technically correct that the UK succeeded and then quit, I’d maintain that a realistic claim of success in the launch business requires a track record of multiple successful launches with real payloads.

Viewing 2 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.