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back to article Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Iran says it has successfully launched its first satellite into orbit using domestic technology. The launch, while expected, will be seen by some in the West as confirming the view that Iran could have nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles relatively soon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receives news of the successful …

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BBC stealth reporters?

Interesting to note Pres Dinnerjacket is flanked by Dave Angel from the Fast Show and Richard Stilgoe of Nationwide fame.

Good move from the Beeb, given that John Simpson's smug visage must already be known in every evil empire going.

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Black Arrow

A British launch vehicle that placed a British satellite into orbit in 1971, making the UK the 6th nation to launch its own satellite. Cancelled by the Heath government, the scientists at Woomera launched the last vehicle anyway (by some accounts with permission ...) thus making the UK the first nation to give up a satellite launching capability :((

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Boffin

Correction

Britain has independently put a satellite in orbit. On 28 October 1971 a Black Arrow rocket put the Prospero X-3 satellite in orbit from Woomera, Australia making Britain the 6th nation to place a satellite in orbit.

I was at the site on the Isle of Wight this September where the rockets were tested before being shipped out to Australia. It's right next to the Needles, a great case of what might have been, if only the funding hadn't been cut, just at the moment of success...

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Errata

"The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of [putting a satellite in orbit]"

Not so. Details of the UK's former satellite launch capbility are here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7862827.stm

and here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

Although the line "As of 2007, the UK is the only state to have successfully developed and then abandoned satellite launch capability" is pretty damning in itself.

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Dead Vulture

Are you sure?

"With the launch, Iran joins a select group of nations able to put objects into orbit around the Earth. The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this, has no civil space launching capability, and is reliant on US-supplied Trident missiles to carry its nuclear weapons."

Can i refer you to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

and also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_first_orbital_launches_by_country

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Been There - Done That

"The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this"

Google "Black Knight" and Prospero.

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Um Excuse Me but..

I know people keep re writting history but the UK did have a rocket capable of this and it was succesful in putting a satellite into space - Black Arrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

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The uk has launched a satellite into orbit

Prospero X-3 was launched on a black arrow rocket in 1971, both the satellite and the rocket where uk built.

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Wrong, what about Prospero X-3?

As per the title, we did it 5th... It wasn't launched from the UK, but the article says we've never built a rocket capable of putting objects in orbit. Clearly we have, and a long time before most other people.

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Go

Pigs in space

Has anyone mentioned Prospero X-3 and Black Arrow yet?

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You bet...

You bet they have "weapons in mind as much as the peaceful uses of space" and they should get them working ASAP. It's all that keeps the "regime change" cowboys at bay.

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Correction

The UK did formerly have sat launch capability.

I refer you to

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/03/iran_satellite_launch/comments/

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I may be missing the point but...

...am I the only one who thinks President Ahmadinejad's trousers are pulled up a little too far. It's almost Cowell-esque.

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We beat you (sort of)

Australia launched its first satellite, WRESAT, on 29 November 1967 from Woomera, Australia; however, a United States Redstone rocket, not an Australian rocket, was used in the launch.

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DT

Say it ain't so!

What a dent to the PRIDE of the GREAT EMPIRE.

I for one am glad that taxpayer's money isn't being wasted on duplicating effort when off the shelf solutions are available.

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Brits in Space

Wrong!!!! Britain put a satellite in orbit in the 1970s called Prospero, launched by Black Arrow. Due to the short sightedness of those in Westminster this ability was abandoned, along with Blue Streak, ELDO, Black Prince, RZ2, Gamma Eight and Bristol Stentor engines. Our time will come again - look for Skylon and Lapcat on the internet!

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Addendum...

Not forgetting of course the Blue Streak 1st stage to the aborted Europa launcher... worked every time, it was the french, german and italian bits that kept breaking...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Streak_missile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_rocket

Can I suggest Lewis, that at lunchtime you take yourself off to the Science Museum in South Kensington and have a good look at the the space gallery, as the forth Black Arrow, R4, is on display there, together with a mock up of Prospero, the original of which incidentally is still in orbit and functioning...

MW

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@Colin MacLean

Check out the guy on the right of the picture. Isn't that Tony Blackburn wearing a fake beard?

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Boffin

"Nuclear tipped warheads"

What does this mean? Presumably a payload which was to cause a nuclear explosion would be a "nuclear warhead". Is a "nuclear tipped warhead" a conventional warhead with a radioactive payload - a dirty bomb?

I still think the chances of Iran managing to make any sort of fission bomb, let alone H-bomb, which actually goes bang are about zero.

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I think this is fantastic news...

If Israel ever needed a kick up the arse Iran is the nation to do it.

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@ Mad as a Bat

"Isn't that Tony Blackburn wearing a fake beard?"

Nope, 'cos he doesn't have the Blackburn fake smile/rictus grin

Another chapter in the book of 'Ours are good -- Thiers are bad" has been written. It must be nearly time to declare Afghanistan as 'sorted' and move into Iran (again).

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Next generation British satelites?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7862827.stm

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So do we or don't we?

Surely someone can figure out if the UK has homegrown satellite delivery capability? Seriously, it's not rocket science....

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UK Rockets

The only problem is that youve as much chance as the UK re-launching their own sats as you have spotting Doctor Who's tardis strapped to the back of a stampeding elephant..(unless you live in norwich)

Is there anything we actually do ourselves anymore??? What happended to this country???? I am off to ask the US for indefinate right to remain... They seem to have a plan unlike Brown...

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@ WarrenG

Israel - kick up the arse ? They already have nuclear weapons

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

...and have punished Mordechai Vanunu, the person who made this public...

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu

He cannot leave Israel or talk to journalists and is effectively under state arrest.

I'm afraid no one needs a kick up the arse. Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have tested, working weapons; with them, India, North Korea and Israel are the only nations who have nuclear weapons outside the NPT.

The existence of other nations' development efforts needs careful verification before a US/UK strike because of the fiasco of WMD in Iraq. Of course, the US could simply ask Israel to carry out a strike and then later block any Security Council effort reprimanding them. Presidents change, those who bankroll Senators in the US do not.

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Any independent corroberation?

Has anyone other than the Iranians tracked the satellite yet?

They wouldn't be the first country to claim to have put something into orbit but failed to do so. In 1998, North Korea, that other workers' paradise, claimed to have orbited Kwangmyongsong-1 playing proletarian toe-tappers such as "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il". Despite millions of people twiddling their radio knobs to pick up these heady tunes, not a whisper was ever heard and it is believed that the launch was either just a missile test or that the satellite never reached orbital velocity.

Speaking of our fun-loving Stalinist friends, I see they're planning on making things in Asia just a bit more exciting than they were already:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5647653.ece

Mike.

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@Dunstan Vavasour

>>I still think the chances of Iran managing to make any sort of fission bomb, let alone H-bomb, which actually goes bang are about zero.

I probably couln't make a gun, but doesn't mean I couln't get one.

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Buck up Engerland!

You may not have a viable launch vehicle, or a space program to speak of, but can Iran lay claim to the Series II Landrover or the Harrison marine chronometer? Hell no!

For every potential Iranian Astronaut leaping child-like across the moon's surface beneath the earthrise, there must be a hundred weathered farm folk trundling unstoppably across England's green and pleasant lands at the helm of the redoubtable Series II and god knows how many tall ships bringing the mother country rum and exotic root vegetables from the mysterious West Indies without fear of winding up in Ibiza!

It may not have the glamour or drama of re-entry but how many swaledales can you fit in the back of a Soyuz? Not enough, my friends, even if you only bring along a small plutocrat. But a Landrover? A man need never leave the flock behind with a Landrover!

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Unhappy

"Homemade"

the BBC managed to massively patronise the Iranians this morning describing their satellite as "homemade". Presumably these twats have no idea that Great Britain has never achieved such a thing.

Well done Iran. I only wish our aggression towards you and your idiotic theocracy would end. In that order.

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I think this is great news.

Maybe the fatheads at NASA will pull their thumbs out of their arses and actually get some work done putting the AWESOME back into rocket technology. And what is it with Barack Obama's comments? Whiny, moaning bobbins, he hasn't got a clue. If he wants to put some cash into his economy he should be investing in a proper space programme.

Russia, China, Richard Branson and now Iran. The space race is back on, daddio.

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UK Satellite launch

The first (and last!) satellite successfully put into orbit on a UK designed and built rocket was Prospero and was launched on a Black Arrow rocket a programme that was then suspended. If you are a really sad individual you can still listen to Prospero's signals I believe ...

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Check your yources

Its the same bunch of people who normally slate wikipedia now on here using it as a single source to validate the UK space industry. Can wiki morph into the oracle when required?

@DT Why waste taxpayers money creating jobs in a high tech industry when we can waste it paying people to have children and not work?You bloody lefty.

P.S. Just use linux, dont buy jesus phone etc. etc.

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Astrium anybody?

Considering a significant amount of Astrium's rocket building is done in the UK, it seems a bit strange to say that Britain has no rocket building capability, i suppose that by the same token Germany, France, Italy and the whole of Europe do not have any rocket capability right??

I think we all know thats a lot of bollocks. Europe shares its resources in order to be the worlds biggest supplier of commercial rocket launches. So stop bemoaning the fact that your not doing it on your own. Or get off your ass contact your local MP and start harrassing him to get him to start pushing for a homegrown program if you think its that important...

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@AC 'we beat you... sort of'

I f you count non-indigenously developed launcher rockets, try looking up Ariel-1, 1962 was it??

The whole idea was you had to do all of it in country (except the lighting the blue touch paper bit where you really need to be as close to the equator as possible, thanks for 'lending' us Woomera!!!)

My first ever real job was on this programme, it's been downhill ever since.

R.

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Obama just like the former?

I guess it is true - that big companies run USA, and not the president, as Obama sounds just like any other president that came about.

Iran's sattelite "unfortunate?" Shouldn't he have had the courage to congratulate on this technological achivement instead?

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Dead Vulture

Prospero Dagnamit!

Is Still Up there 38 Years after it was launched.. and presumably its still chirping away (last known recorded in 2006 for BBC's Coast Program, when they visited the test site.)

Just how old is this reporter? any chance we can get someone who knows stuff..

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Joke

@By Mad as a Bat

Nope. Not Tony Blackburn.

He's visible here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blackburn

That bloke on the right is obviously sporting a Syrup.

('Merkans - see http://www.businessballs.com/cockney.htm if you don't know what "syrup" means.) We Colonial folks know it. Sadly...

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RE the 'corrections'

Does the UK have the ability to launch a satellite? No.

Did it previously, just the once, which was hastily cancelled? Yes.

There's no pride in being at the head of the queue to the party, if you leave after five minutes because you don't like the loud noises and the price of the drinks....

Steven R

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Joke

named "Omid" (Hope)

"my parents named me Omid, which means hope. Unfortunately, Djalili means less"

Omid Dijalili.

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Pirate

RE: Frank Bough

"the BBC managed to massively patronise the Iranians this morning describing their satellite as "homemade"....." Well, seeing as it is actually built with Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Pakistani tech, it really is a homemade copy of existing tech. So El Beeb were being quite generous in even calling it "homemade".

"....Presumably these twats have no idea that Great Britain has never achieved such a thing...." And I presume you now feel like the complete tw@ you most obvioulsy are having seen all the posts about Prospero and Black Arrow. Hope that humble pie doesn't stick too badly in your throat.

"....Well done Iran. I only wish our aggression towards you and your idiotic theocracy would end. In that order." Yes, we have threatened to "wipe Iran off the map", "start a new holocaust" and promise "to drive the Iranians into the sea" at regular intervals. Oh, hold on a sec, no we haven't, but Iran has used the political football of the Israeli-Palistinian conflict to promote war and threaten exactly those events on Israel.

This is of course all the more rich given that there are large numbers of the Iranian populance with no running water or mains electricity, very little if any education, and a level of healthcare that makes the NHS look good I'm sure they appreciate their taxes being ploughed into grandiose projects which only increase he chances of a war.

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Coat

British Boffinry

Black Arrow was a bit of a dead end--hydrogen peroxide and kerosene doesn't have enough spcific impolse for useful satellite launch.

On the other hand, it meant that we had a steam-powered rocket, designed by morris dancers (hydrogen peroxide decomposes to oxygen and steam)..

Pity we wasted so much time and effort on it. It worked, but we should have done better.

(Mine;s the coat with the elbow patches and scorch marks.)

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And of course.

Regardless of any purely domestic Black Arrow / Prospero success, the British contribution in this area has been part of the pan-European ESA / Arianespace effort in more recent years.

So we've been fairly seriously involved in quite a bit of satellite lobbing to date.

There's no reason for a wholly British launch capability, that willy has been waved and then quietly retired in favour of the significantly more impressive Euro-todger.

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Sick of this... cheer up Lewis.

Been reading this site for years, and never made a comment. Now, I'm driven to make the first a flame (hopefully a sane one)...

Mr Page, do you not get sick of being so utterly miserable about everything the UK has ever done, is doing, or might at some point do? Were you aware of the Black Arrow/Prospero launch, or does it not count in some way?

Besides, the UK retains an launch facility through ESA/Arianespace. Yes, we can all get nationalistic about the fact we share this stuff with France et al, but thats an argument which defies economics.

Is it not hypocritical to constantly slate the UK defense establishment for not buying better overseas products at expense to homemade ones, whilst ignoring successful examples of buying into a better shared service?

Why, also, does an article about Iran need to include a poorly researched stab at the UK? Keep to the bloody point and, please, cheer up.

Sincerely, Dom Smith

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Good luck to em

as the title says, theres more to the world that the US & western europe. who knows while we tie ourselves in H&S knots someone else can get the spirit of exploration going again.

whats that it could be used as a missile? tell me again where the US & soviet space programmes came from?

besides it could be good to get Iran armed well enough to give people pause for thought before doing anything daft.

and if *they* do anything too daft, and too traceable they know what will happen anyway

that guy may look like Simon Cowel, but hes probably got lesser dreams of world domination

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Something about Iran and nuclear

Iran is a Shia country and stick to what their clerics say. Their clerics have said that nuclear weapons are completely forbidden in Shia Islam. Therefore they will not be doing nuclear weapons, they only want to use nuclear for power usage. Just like in the UK the government wants to go down the nuclear route as they have decided that "nuclear is green".

So, in summary, Iran do not want to build nuclear weapons as it has been strictly forbidden for them by their religious courts. So stop all this nonsense about Iran building nuclear weapons.

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Make your mind up

Is this the same Lewis, criticising the UK for not having space launch capability ('cos that'd save the economy right now, oh yes!), who is forever berating UK.gov for building it's own aircraft carriers and fighter aircraft instead of buying in foreign tech more cheaply??

And is it me or does the Iranian pres ALWAYS look like he's wearing suits two sizes too big, and bought from his brother-in-law's cousin's shop in Brick Lane?

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Joke

Just like the world cup

You did it once in 66 and never will again. :D

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British rocketry

May only be fiction, but *somebody* has to mention Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle, "Rockets in Ursa Major" - fictional British space program set in the days after the Second World War, complete with handlebar moustaches. They don't make 'em like they used to - but dammit they used to!

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@Steven Raith

Did you read the article?

'The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this'

The corrections are valid!

'has no civil space launching capability, and is reliant on US-supplied Trident missiles to carry its nuclear weapons.'

This is now true. but is not in question.

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Brit Sattelite Still in Orbit After 30 Years

I'm sure I recall the launch of a UK satellite on a UK rocket - Blue Streak, I think - In the 60's and still in orbit now.

Your article is a wonderful view into the educational background of those in the media. This gem certainly sits alonside the "Reefs" horror put on screen by the BBC during the recent Rememberance Day TV coverage .

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