Category Archives: British Space

Giotto of Filton

It was an exciting moment for many people, but especially for a young boy. It seemed such a daring mission and the fact the probe was not expected to survive made it all the more tantalising.  Which boy doesn’t relish … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, British Space, Comets, Halley, Space Flight, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2012 – That was the year that was

938,900,000 km at 30km/s. It’s quite a ride when you think about it. Throw in 366 rotations at an equatorial speed of 1,674.4 km/h and the whole thing sounds pretty hair raising. 2012. It’s almost over and another arbitrarily set … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, British Space, Irregular Astro Camp 2012, Jodrell Bank, Mars, Moon, NASA, Orion, Patrick Moore, Space Flight, Space Station, Telescope, The Astronomer's Den, Transit of Venus, Venus, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dan Dare report for duty!

In the 1970s we gave up on the Vertical Empire.  The UK shot Black Arrow into the skies above Woomera and placed a small test satellite called Prospero in a near perfect orbit, dusted its hands and said enough. Well almost.  … Continue reading

Posted in British Space, Dan Dare, Mars, NASA, Space Flight, Space Station, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Legend Dies

He was 98. Born the year before the Great War tore Europe apart. 40 years later he would re-use weaponry of that conflict to further our knowledge of the Universe at Jodrell Bank. He was one of the first to study Cosmic rays … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Battleships, British Space, Jodrell Bank, Telescope | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Curious Journey

The silence felt like it would match the silence Mars Science laboratory had experienced over the last 8 months. London is rarely quiet but waiting for a bus to appear in the early morning gloom of 4.30am is about as silent as … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, British Space, Mars, NASA, Space Flight, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Black Arrow

I could have been looking at the centuries old ruins of a castle. But the moulded concrete and rusting steel were a give away.  This was no Norman keep, this was the white heat of 60s Britain, sitting on a … Continue reading

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We are such stuff as dreams are made on…

Why that’s my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee:  But thou shalt have freedom: so, so ,so. Prospero, The Tempest, Act V At 18:00:16 GMT on 26th April 1962 UK-1, better known a Ariel, escaped to the freedom of orbit … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, British Space, Space Flight, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment