On January 17th, 2019 the Manitoba Aerospace Association was treated to a presentation from Phil Fergusson. Here is a recap of his very interesting presentation on Canada’s history in space.  (These notes and words are not his, just our recapture of his talk).

Bristol Aerospace, now Magellan Aerospace of Manitoba was the genesis of the Black Brant Rocket and while this rocket would seem to be otherwise, it is named after a goose – the Black Brant goose. The Manitoba Museum has one such decommissioned rocket on display with a graphic of the goose on the fuselage.

The Black Brant Rocket at the Manitoba Museum

The following is a very old NRC produced video (circa 1959) about the Canadian Black Brant Sounding Rocket which was fired at the Churchill Research Range in Churchill, Manitoba. There is also a lot of background information provided during this 14 minute video about the Black Brant Program.

Another more recent rocket launch is found at the link below.  Phil noted the short span of the rocket burn and that fact that the rochet achieves hypersonic speeds within 100 feet of the launch. This following video shows two camera angles, a front and back view – throughout the entire launch and landing. The phases of the rocket shown are – launch of rocket, de-spinning of the rocket at the 50 second mark, and return to earth, having gone up about 250km during the 20 second burn.  The rocket returns to earth and the camera angles show a reversed perspective.

In this video the earth’s atmosphere looks very interesting. As the rocket descends, the camera shows how proportionately thin the atmosphere really is. The rocket parachute deploys 2:30 into the flight allowing for a recovery of the rocket cone and equipment situated in that section.