Secret files reveal US interest in UK HOTOL spaceplane

by | Feb 20, 2009 | Seradata News | 3 comments

Flight HOTOL cover 25 March 1989blog.jpg

credit Flight / caption: HOTOL was cancelled later that year

Hyperbola has gained access to declassified files about the UK Horizontal Take-Off and Landing (HOTOL) spaceplane that was first announced in August 1984. One of the files’ papers is a memo to the then UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher about the Ronald Reagan administration’s interest in participating in an international venture to develp a  HOTOL spaceplane. In the extended portion of this blog you can see a key part of that memo, in which it says a prototype HOTOL “could be flying as early as 1990”

You can find Flight’s cutaways and articles about HOTOL here. Next week Flightglobal.com will have a news analysis article about the declassified files and the links between HOTOL and the new UK rocket engine technology programme

hotol us science advisor.jpg
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