Source of sound that mystified village revealed to be rocket testing
- Credit: Raptor Aerospace
The source of a noise that has been mystifying people living in a mid-Norfolk village has been revealed.
People in Kettlestone took to the village’s Facebook page to raise concern over a loud noise, which they believed to be either a rocket or meteorite. One person, who lives in The Street in the village, said the noise left him stumped.
“When it happened, I was sitting in my home, surfing the web and it was a sudden loud noise that I had never heard before," he said.
"I thought, crikey, what was that?
“As an aircraft enthusiast I’m used to them flying overhead but this did not sound like any plane.
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“I can only liken it to stuff I have heard on the news.
“I had a pragmatic look at things, I thought it wouldn’t have been a rocket misfiring or we would have heard something from the defence department so I thought that it could be a meteorite.”
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But the mystery was laid to rest when James Kilpatrick commented on the post, telling people his farm nearby was being used as a test site for rockets for Norfolk based company Raptor Aerospace, which specialises in the design and development of suborbital rockets.
Raptor, which is based at the Scottow Enterprise Park, near the old Coltishall airbase, used the farm as it is close by.
They are designed to enter space and return to earth whilst conducting research and tests for a range of industries. They simulate the experience of space flight, so people can test the effects it would have on their material.
Mr Kilpatrick, who lives on the farm, allowed them to use his land to begin testing the rocket, under a licence from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The rocket is being used in an academic competition later this year in Scotland.
It will see universities competing against one another as they develop a CanSat, which is a satellite the size of a can of coke, with the winners getting to launch their design in a rocket developed by Raptor Aerospace.
But neighbours can now rest easy, with a spokesman for Raptor confirming the tests were now complete.