South Scotland

Bolton students seek rocket record at Mull of Galloway

A group of Bolton students has launched a rocket aiming to beat the UK amateur height record on the Mull of Galloway.

Sixth form students at Canon Slade School and Turton High School worked with the Bolton Science and Technology Centre to build the 4m long rocket.

The device, named Black Streak, hoped to reach a maximum height of 17.5km beating the current record of 10.5km.

It was successfully launched at about 10:50 and checks were ongoing to see what height it had reached.

The project was designed to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and maths in young people.

In order to get to this stage, the team of students and scientists has spent two years designing and building the rocket.

The remote location in south west Scotland was selected because of its distance from populated areas.

Once it took off, the rocket was expected to reach speeds of up to 1,600mph into the sky above the Mull of Galloway.

Project leader Torben Steeg said it could lead to further launches in future.

'National competition'

"What we have done over the last two to three years is develop a rocket with the help of a colleague who is a proper rocket scientist, which I am not," he explained.

"This launch is a kind of maiden test launch to make sure everything works.

"In the next academic year we are going to run a national competition to design a payload for the next launch next summer.

"The idea is to encourage kids into doing electronics, programming and science kind of stuff and this is to be a motivator to help them do it."

The scheme has been backed by a £10,000 grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

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