British Universities Film & Video Council

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British Space Programme: Projects Cancelled 1962

Synopsis
Whilst the achievements and exploits of the Soviets and Americans in space exploration are well documented, the story of the British Space Programme is much less well known.

Beginning in 1962 with the launch of UK1, this archive-led documentary celebrates the three major British rocket projects of the 1960s: Black Knight, Blue Streak and Black Arrow. The high point was undoubtedly the successful Black Arrow launch which would succeed in orbiting the Prospero satellite, making the United Kingdom only the sixth nation to successfully place its own satellite into orbit via an indigenously developed carrier rocket. Ultimately, the production and development of British rockets would be abandoned, just as there was a tantalising possibility that Britain might establish itself as a major aerospace industrial nation with its own distinctive niche in the international space race.

To this day, the United Kingdom holds the somewhat dubious distinction of being the only country to have successfully developed its own satellite launch capability and space project, which was then completely abandoned. The successive cancellation of each and every initiative would come to be seen as a national scandal.

DVD extras: THE HOTOL PROJECT (10 mins) - Archive news compilation detailing the cancelled Hotol project which, at one point, was expected to claim over 90% of the market for satellite launches with its pioneering and cost-effective horizontal take-off and landing capability.
THE BEAGLE-2 PROJECT (8 mins) - An overview of the Beagle-2 mission to Mars to search for signs of life; from initial government backing, through to the inquest into the final failure to receive any data back from the Red Planet.
Series
Cold War Collection, The
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2012
Year of production
2011
Availability
out of distribution
Subjects
History; Space science; Technology
Keywords
history of Britain; history of technology; history of the 20th century; space exploration

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£11.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
76 minutes
Year
2012

Distributor

Name

Cherry Red Records

Web
http://cherryred.co.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7371 5844
Fax
020 7384 1854
Address
Unit 17
First Floor
Eysium Gate West
126-128 New King’s Road
London
SW6 4LZ

Record Stats

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