Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Come back, Dan Dare. All is forgiven.

What might have been: the Prospero satellite
A group of British scientists plan to revive Britain's first, and only, satellite built and launched by Britain to commemorate its 40th anniversary.

I remember when the Prospero was launched and the many rainy Sundays when I went to the Science Museum and saw the (mock up) satellite and the Black Arrow launcher that lofted it into space.  It was a major disappointment when I learned that it was Britain's only shot into space and later dismayed when the nation hitched its astral wagon to a French space horse trotting under Euro colours.  In a way, Prospero and Black Arrow are a sort of metaphor for so much of post-war Britain:  Constantly making scientific and technological breakthroughs, poised to once again becoming world leader in that field and then dropping the ball completely so that Johnny Foreigner can scoop it up.

Moral:  You can't win if you don't play.

1 comment:

Cthel said...

For further reading on subject, see Gas-cooled nuclear reactors, Miles M.52, Computing, TSR.2, Hovercraft et al.

So many might-have-beens...