back to article Sad relics of UK launch capability returned to Blighty while NASA fiddles with Boeing crew

As NASA continued to listen for its stricken Mars rover and SpaceX moved closer to a first crewed launch from US soil, rocket fans had plenty to occupy them last week. Black Arrow is back. Well, a bit of it The UK has the dubious distinction of being the only country to have successfully developed, then dumped, the capability …

  1. Korev Silver badge
    Joke

    Galileo

    Don't worry, once we've taken back control, Britain will soon have to launch satellites again to replace Galileo

    1. austint

      Re: Galileo

      All powered by the finest British-extruded unicorn juice.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Galileo

        Appropriately the Unicorn is Scottish, maybe this is why they've chosen Sutherland as a possible launch site.

    2. IT Poser

      Re: Galileo

      Given the clock issues you might not be the only ones launching satellites to replace Galileo.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Galileo

        Make Britain Galactic Again?

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Galileo

      The only problem is, as the UK is on the west end of a continent, we'd have trouble launching to the east, in case any of our precious British rocket technology fall on and is stolen by those perfidious Europeans.

      Instead all British satellites will be launched into a westward, retrograde, orbit!

      Britain will proudly face in the opposite direction to all other countries!

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Galileo

        British overseas territories and crown dependencies include some equatorial sites with a handy ocean to the east. The second biggest problem would be getting a bunch of frequencies useful for positioning. (The biggest problem is that if frequences fell out of a packet of cornflakes the government is so clueless that they would be buy a promise at a price that sounds reasonable then the price would double every year until cancellation.)

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Galileo

        > Britain will proudly face in the opposite direction to all other countries!

        You already do this on every highway... :-p

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Galileo

          Britain will proudly face in the opposite direction to all other countries!

          You already do this on every highway... :-p

          We have not allowed the French to dictate what side of the road we drive on so we have just stayed the same.

        2. The First Dave

          Re: Galileo

          "You already do this on every highway"

          There are numerous other countries that drive on the correct side of the road.

          1. Steve Aubrey
            Joke

            Re: Galileo

            "that drive on the correct side of the road"

            That's not right!

        3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Galileo

          Just because the UK is in a minority that drives on the left hand side of the road, it doesn't make us wrong.

      3. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Galileo

        Without intruding on Irish airspace or the Shannon control area?

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Galileo

          As long as they're above 60000' before they hit the FIR boundary I think they're all good. Plus as it seems to be the RN and RAF defending Ireland on the quiet I'm not sure it'd be a problem...

    4. mosw

      Re: Galileo

      How many more Galileo’s do you want?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fO1qj9TNpo

  2. Timmy B Silver badge

    Penicuik....

    The place that gave me my worst ever hangover... There is a hotel there I stayed in for work that had the most amazing collection of malts. Dozens of them. Me and my manager made the daft mistake of asking the barman his favourite. It's a quiet Sunday night and the next thing we know he's walking over having poured out samplers of nearly all of them and the 3 of us proceed to stay until the wee small hours discussing each in turn...

    Totally amazing hospitality but ouch the next morning.

  3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Black Arrow

    Our reusable launch vehicle has been returned - nothing a bit of spit and polish and stiff upper lip can't get back into space!

    As a nerdy aside, the UK stages of the satellite launch vehicles were all 100% successful. Only the final orbital insertion stages built by pesky Europeans caused problems.

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The US one-ups the UK again...

    > The UK has the dubious distinction of being the only country to have successfully developed, then dumped, the capability to launch satellites

    Well, we tossed away the ability to put people on the Moon, so there ya go...

    In 40 short years, this country went from landing on the Moon to "This Bag Is Not A Toy"

  5. KBeee

    Black Arrow

    Didn't I read on El Reg that Black Arrow was dropped so as not to compete with the French Ariadne project as a bargaining chip to allow the UK to join the EEC (as it then was) without the French vetoing the application again?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Black Arrow

      Not so much dropped, as "donated" to the project. Much of Black Arrow went on to become the early versions of Aranne

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