Wiltshire

'Cool' Russian rocket installed in Wiltshire garden

Rocket
Image caption The rocket will now form a feature in a private garden in a Wiltshire village

A Russian rocket, which was once the fastest machine in the earth's atmosphere, has been installed in a private garden in a Wiltshire village.

The Hypersonic Flying Laboratory, known as Kholod, was bought at auction for £38,000 by Rory Sweet.

He said he had to buy it because it was "the coolest thing I had ever seen".

The rocket, once capable of flying at almost 5,000mph (8,000km/h), has been restored and set in place in his garden in Sherston.

Mr Sweet said: "I saw it for sale at a car auction, and decided to buy it, not really knowing what I was going to do with it."

Image caption The rocket has been repainted by a company which specialises in classic car restoration

He said the rocket had been stripped down and repainted by a company specialising in car restorations in South Cerney, Gloucestershire.

Mr Sweet said he would make a "bit of a garden feature out of it".

The machine, which weighs five tonnes and is 39ft (12m) long, originally cost more than $10m to develop.

It was built in an experimental collaborative project between the Soviet Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) and the American National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA).

It was capable of doing 4,925mph (Mach 6.47), which set a record in 1991 for the fastest machine to run within the earth's atmosphere - a record it held for a decade.

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