British Skylark rocket makes its final flight

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May 2, 2005

The last British Skylark rocket has made its final flight.

The rocket flew from coastal Sweden at 6am UTC on Monday, carrying its ESA science package to an altitude of 250km.

The 13m tall rocket was developed in the UK and first flew in 1957 from Woomera range in Australia. It continued to be developed for another twenty years. The British government ended support for the project in 1979, leaving private companies to fly the remaining rockets. Enough rockets had been built to sustain a launch program until today.

A total of 441 flights have been made by the sub-orbital Skylark. The rocket is known as a 'sounding rocket', designed to explore the upper regions of Earth's atmosphere.