VIDEO: Northumberland rocket launch a success

It was mission accomplished as the UK's biggest rocket blasted off from Otterburn .

Starchaser Industries Limited launched its Skybolt 2 Research Rocket from Otterburn today, hoping the mission will pave the way for manned tests of Starchaser’s Space Tourism rocket in the future.

Blast off!   Pictures by Jane Coltman

Blast off! Pictures by Jane Coltman

Standing 8.3 metres (27 feet) tall, the reusable British rocket is a collaboration with the Science and Engineering Faculty of the University of Chester.

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. And as part of our Educational Outreach Programme, Skybolt 2 will go on to inspire many thousands of youngsters as it will tour schools following the launch’

Skybolt 2 tested vital electronic systems as well as a bespoke parachute recovery system to ensure the rocket returned to earth intact. Other payloads included a science project from Sheffield Hallam University, commercial cargo and a number of video cameras. A stuffed toy dog called Sam was launched for Morecambe Bay Primary school .

Although designed to fly more than 100 km to the edge of space, the maximum altitude for this first flight of the rocket was limited to 4000 feet, so as to avoid interfering with commercial air traffic and to ensure a safe landing within the Otterburn Danger Area.

Starchaser Managing Director Steve Bennett

Starchaser Managing Director Steve Bennett

Last-minute adjustments.

Last-minute adjustments.

Inside the business end of the rocket

Inside the business end of the rocket

Up, up and away....

Up, up and away....

Following the trajectory.

Following the trajectory.

One of the pieces of  rocket that came back to earth.

One of the pieces of rocket that came back to earth.