The UK has played a significant role in developing space science from the launch of the Skylark sounding rocket in 1957 to the present, including the Prospero satellite (1971) launched by the UK’s Black Arrow Rocket, and Ariel-1 (1962). Ariel was the first UK satellite to carry experiments devised and operated by UK universities, and recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its launch at the National Science Museum in April 2012.
Many of the early pioneers are still active and have a fascinating scientific and human story to tell about their work. Their life, work and successes will be interesting for everyone interested in science, technology or history and will inspire the young; especially those who aim for a career in sciences or engineering.
This is a fascinating piece of heritage, which should receive more attention as the foundation of the UK’s entry to the space age. With a new UK Space Agency and many highly successful aerospace companies, the early days when scientists reached for the stars should be remembered.
We are applying for lottery funding to carry out a series of interviews with the UK’s space pioneers, all of whom are now highly regarded scientists. We have support from a variety of groups including the British Interplanetary Society and the Oral History Department at King’s College London. What we need now is volunteers to carry out the interviews, edit the footage, and create the website and materials for outreach activities and exhibition. If you’re interested, let us know at [email protected] . Full training will be provided.
UK Space Science Heritage Project Feedback
Following the UKSEDS Space Workshop and heritage session, we’d like to hear what you think of the project and how we could make it even better. A copy of the slides presented at the workshop can be downloaded here (2.2MB .pptx).