Britain To Join Space Race
Britain will soon embark on a space programme concerned mainly with the setting up of a satellite communications system. This is the conclusion to be drawn from a statement made by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Peter Thorneycroft, now in Australia for official space talks.
So, 54 years ago, started a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of September 14th 1960
The story continues:
“The most practical way in which Britain might decide to enter the space race is by exploring the possibility of using satellites for communications,” said Mr Thorneycroft, “we are not going to try and compete with the Russians and Americans with manned space travel but there are several researches in space which fall short of that , and we may be able to go in for this – preferably on a co-operative basis.”
In Australia he is discussing the future of Blue Streak, Woomera and space research in general.
N.B. Thorneycroft’s mission was a failure. Blue Streak was cancelled later that year. Conceived as the British nuclear deterrent to replace VBombers it became too expensive for Britain and to save its blushes the rocket was offered to the EU as a first stage rocket carrier. After a series of failed test launches at Woomera further development was scrapped..