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The British Space Program

The British Space Program

Discover some key facts behind The British Space Program. Though Britain has never dominated endeavours into space, they have had some key successes that this film from VideoJug uncovers.

Britain's interest in space travel began earlier than any other nation when in 1933 The British interplanetary society was founded, whose members included Arthur C. Clarke.

After the second world war, captured German V2 rockets were examined by British scientists.

But Britain's interest in rockets was based more on missile development than space research.

Test firings took place at Woomera in Australia of the black knight, blue arrow and black arrow missiles.

Britain's only satellite Prospero-X3 was launched in 1971 from Woomera.

Funding for British space travel is none existent and only private enterprises are active. British entrepreneur Richard Branson is attempting a space tourism with his Virgin galactic, starship two.

Steve Bennet made a serious attempt on the X-Prize competition to launch a reusable craft into space. His Star-Chaser craft was over 11 metres tall.

Dreams of interstellar space flight have remained on the drawing board with the deadalus project.

But in 2003 British scientist Dr Colin Pillinger found the support to launch Beagle-2 onboard a Russian rocket to land on Mars.

The project was to fail when contact with beagle-2 was lost on landing on Mars.

Britain currently has four astronauts.

Helen Sharman became the first Britain in space when she visited the MIR space station in 1991.

Michael Foale has flown on over 6 shuttle missions.

Piers Sellers flew the first of his two missions on board the space shuttle in 2002.

And Nicholas Patrick has spent 12 days on the International space station in 2006.

Not a great record for a nation that once ruled the waves.