Britain in Space

Turn out that Britain used to have a proper space programme – unlike the rather sad piggybacking on the ESA that we do now. Unfortunately, our space programme was rather short lived, managing to successfully launch only one satellite, carried by a giant rocket propelled lipstick.

Prospero Satellite - launched from Woomera (a little bit of Australia where we used to test our nuclear weapons)

Now I think that the current retreat from space is really quite sad. A while ago I was thinking about the loss of Concorde – and likewise this feels like a step back. I know the arguments for withdrawing funding from space exploration, afterall, no-one seems to have much money at the moment and its probably deemed a no-brainer to divert funding into schools and hospitals.

But I think its important not to forget that exploration can be an end unto itself – the only trouble is that you can’t build a business case for it. It is by definition stepping into the unknown – but thats whats exciting and it has the potential to galvanise people, sharing a common purpose and striving to meet the same goals. Even if you don’t discover new miracles of science and technology, that common purpose is worth something, probably something that even Mastercard can’t buy.

Anyway – onto some stuff about design: Below is the logo of the government’s space agency. Why is good? Well its the Union Flag turned into a rocket – I’m not sure that anything could be cooler (except maybe if the agency had some actual rockets to launch).

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