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28 October 1971 - The United Kingdom launches its Prospero satellite

On 28 October 1971, the United Kingdom launched the Prospero satellite into low Earth orbit.

It was launched from Woomera, Australia on a Black Arrow Rocket.

Flight spare of the Prospero satellite - Image credit: Geni

Prospero's goal was to study the effects of space on communication satellites. It was officially deactivated in 1996, but it supposed to stay in orbit until 2070.

With the launch, the United Kingdom became the sixth nation capable of launching its own satellites into space. 

It was the last of four flights with the Black Arrow rocket and the only successful one.

Afterwards the UK did its launches using American Scout rockets, which was cheaper than continuing the development of its own rocket.


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