This site is dedicated to the discussion and recording of the history of space launch systems in the UK. New launch sites are emerging within the British Isles and we will be following those too.

It’s not widely known, but the British government had a world leading rocketry programme in the 50’s and 60’s. Primarily a military programme in conjunction with the United States, the intention was to develop a medium range Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Development and testing took place in various UK locations, with a prominent launch site on the Isle of Wight. Other Commonwealth countries were also involved, with Woomera in south Australia used for test launches. Increasing costs led to the cancellation of the military project in 1960.

The technology developed was moved into a civilian programme, which led to the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) in partnership with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Australia was an associate member with most of the test launches taking place at Woomera.

With the new developments in launch capability in Cornwall and The Shetland Isles creating a surge in interest, I wanted to create a site that reflects on past success and failure, and looks forward to the future of rocketry in the UK. In the future we plan to include a forum, blogs and guest contributors.