Skylark launch tower
A Skylark tower is a tower used for the launch of earlier versions of Skylark
Skylark (rocket)
Skylark was a British sounding rocket design. The Skylark was first launched in 1957 from Woomera, Australia and its 441st and final launch took place from Esrange, Sweden on 2 May 2005...

A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

s. As Skylark rockets have no guidance system
Guidance system
A guidance system is a device or group of devices used to navigate a ship, aircraft, missile, rocket, satellite, or other craft. Typically, this refers to a system that navigates without direct or continuous human control...

 and accelerate slowly, they require a safe launch tower with a height of at least 24 metres with a guidance system.

Later versions of the Skylark rocket were equipped with a more powerful engine and therefore did not need such a large guidance tower for launch.


In 1956, a 30 metre tall swivelling launch tower was set up on launch site 2, at Woomera, South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

. The tower was built of old Bailey bridge
Bailey bridge
The Bailey bridge is a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge. It was developed by the British during World War II for military use and saw extensive use by both British and the American military engineering units....

 segments, each weighing 35 tons.

Salto di Quirra

At Salto di Quirra
Salto di Quirra
Salto di Quirra is a rocket launching site near Perdasdefogu on Sardinia ....

, Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 in 1965, a 30 metre tall Skylark tower was erected. The tower ceased to be in use from 1972, at which point launches moved to Esrange. The tower remains today.


At Esrange
Esrange Space Center is a rocket range and research centre located outside the town of Kiruna in northern Sweden. It is a base for scientific research with high altitude balloons, investigation of the aurora borealis, sounding rocket launches, and satellite tracking, among other things...

 in 1972, a 30 metre high Skylark tower was built*. The tower consists of a pyramid-like building with a launch tower on its top, in order to protect the rocket from cold before launch, necessary as Esrange is within the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

. At launch, exhaust doors were opened to enable the smoke to leave the construct.

As Skylark rockets are no longer available, Esrange Skylark launch tower was modified in 2005 for launching Brazilian VSB-30
VSB-30 - "Veículo de Sondagem Booster – 30" is the designation of a Brazilian sounding rocket, which replaced the Skylark rocket at Esrange....

rockets. The tower is now used for launches of rockets manufactured at Brazil.

External links

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