History of British Space Science

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 1986 - Technology & Engineering - 514 pages
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This book documents how a complex branch of science was started and encouraged to grow both nationally and internationally, as seen through the eyes of two authors who together played a major role in many of the events that they describe. It traces the beginning and subsequent development of a space science programme for British scientists from the early 1950s to the early 1980s, and gives the scientific, technological and administrative background whilst highlighting some of the outstanding successes of the programme. Cooperation with NASA in the United States is described in some detail, and the part played by Britain in establishing European cooperation in space science is outlined, as is the more modest cooperative programme with Commonwealth countries. This historical account will be of interest to all space scientists, geophysicists and astronomers, as well as to those concerned with the administration and organisation of large, co-operative scientific programmes.
  

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Contents

The Gassiot Committee of the Royal Society and atmospheric
4
The initiation of the Skylark rocket programme the IGY
16
The Skylark rocket and its development
23
Later development of the Skylark
33
British observers take advantage of Soviet satellites
39
Contribution by British scientists to IGY research using rockets
45
PostIGY developments NASA COSPAR British National
54
The British National Committee for Space Research
62
The first Council meetings
138
The initiation of the scientific programme of ESRO
139
The sounding rocket programme
140
Small spinstabilized satellites
142
The first deep space probe HEOS 1
146
The small stabilized satellites TD1 and TD2
147
The two large projects
151
The first large project LAS 1 52
152

The US offer
69
The first payload
75
The launching of S51
85
The second Ariel satellite
91
The Space Research Management Unit
93
The launching of Ariel 2
95
Ariel 3
96
Ariel 4
102
Ariel 5
103
Ariel 6
106
The European Space Research Organization
108
The commencement of European discussions
109
Early UK reactions
110
Informal meeting in London April 1960
111
Provisional European space research group proposed preparatory commission
114
Technical discussion meeting London 36 October 1960
115
UK decision to join preparatory commission
117
General intergovernmental meeting preparatory commission established
118
Satellite launcher development in Europe beginnings of ELDO
119
Progress of the preparatory commission
120
UK overall space science programme agreed financial limits
123
Progress towards the establishment of ELDO
124
ESRO the financial protocol
125
The selection of sites for ESRO establishments
126
ESRO network of tracking and telemetry stations
132
Signature of the ESRO Convention and its ratification
136
The second large project
161
Commonwealth cooperation in space reseach
163
Royal Society Meeting on Commonwealth cooperation in space science
164
Smaller rockets for scientific purposes Skua and Petrel
177
Alternative ways ahead
183
The main characteristics of Petrel 1
190
Further engineering developments
196
The Stage 3 stabilization system
203
The Trend Committee and the Science Research Council
210
The transformation of ESRO into ESA
225
The ESA organization
239
Scientific studies by British space scientists figure of the earth
260
Scientific studies by British space scientists the ionosphere
297
The contribution from British space scientists to astronomy
339
Concluding remarks
390
A2 Programme of attitude controlled Skylark experiments
406
Annexes
448
UK participation in research with artificial satellites Paper
455
Formal offer of international cooperation by the USA through
462
Outline proposals by scientists for a cooperative European
469
Formal agreement setting up a Preparatory Commission
475
Need for basic studies in support of space science Statement
487
Attendance at the Williamsburg Conference to consider the
490
Index
505
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