Rick Newlands 2013 - 2016

Latest news:

Summer 2015: Rocket-powered test-models launched to demonstrate concept and investigate aerodynamics (see picture on right). Initial results good, stable launches and descents.


Launch a pilot with M.E. into Space and return him safely to Earth

A non-profit manned Space mission based on sponsors and private donors to raise awareness of the illness M.E.

Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of motion: “To every action force there is always an equal (in magnitude) and opposite (in direction) reaction force.”

This is also called the rocket principle: a mass of compressed gas is flung out the back of the rocket (the action force) but to do this it pushes itself off the forward inner wall of the rocket engine and the inside wall of the rocket nozzle.

These pushes are the reaction force that shoves the vehicle forwards. In rocketry, the reaction force is called ‘thrust’.

The goal of Reaction for M.E:

Launch an M.E. sufferer into Space. Yes, we’re quite serious, we have the knowledge and technology to make this happen.

Our name is of course a play on words on the esteemed  U.K. charity Action for M.E.

The mission details

A bit off the wall?
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The spacecraftWhat is M.E?

Spaceflight technology

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Here is my mission statement:

-I want to be the first disabled person in history to pilot their own spaceship.

-I want to be the first person with M.E. to go into Space.

-I want to establish a new civilian suborbital altitude record of 120 Kilometres because this design can go higher than the rest yet still survive re-entry.

-Suborbital means not reaching orbit. Instead it’s a quick trip rocketing up to 120 Kilometres above Scotland, then falling straight back down again. Space officially starts at 100 Kilometres up, so that’s a few minutes to spend in Space marvelling at the view, and about 5 minutes of weightlessness.

-I don’t want to follow the early astronauts and just be lobbed up and down in a tin can: I want a bit more finesse, so my craft transforms itself into a glider after re-entry to glide down to a grass airstrip or beach in northern Scotland.

Isn’t this rather an off-the-wall idea?

Perhaps a bit left-field. There’s a dedicated U.K. team trying to get a car to go at 1000 miles per hour at sea-level; whichever way you look at it, this is silly, but they’re doing it anyway because it’s cool.

Why shouldn’t sufferers of M.E. Have big dreams too?

Astronauts are usually horribly fit people, but it’s not necessary except on spacewalks which I’m not doing. We have the knowledge to allow this mission to happen, but we need help and sponsorship from you.

We can inspire British schoolchildren, both able-bodied and disabled, to take an interest in science, maths, and engineering, by showing them what can be done.

Rick Newlands has got M.E. He can't walk very far, and can only sit upright for a short time, and not one of the billion doyens of the medical profession on this planet can even begin to tell him why not. But he doesn't see why these afflictions should prevent him reaching Space if he really wants to.

He happens to be a bona-fide rocket scientist and aeronautical engineer with a lot of powerful rocket and aircraft design software on his computer. So what follows isn’t just a pipe-dream, it should actually work!

He finds conceiving spaceplane designs therapeutic (keeps the old brain busy), but could he design a small and relatively cheap/simple craft to get him into Space despite his illness? He thinks he has done, and it’s detailed on this website. He’ll need sponsorship, and help to build the spacecraft, and he hopes you might like to help out.