Before the formation of the Science Research Council (SRC) in 1965, the Royal Society played the key role, as both advocate and adviser to relevant government departments, in establishing the foundations of UK Space Research. The Society's Gassiot Committee was instrumental in the creation of a competitive university space research community, preparing the way for the active involvement of the UK in the NASA space science programme, and a leading role in Europe as founding members of the European Space Research Organisation, a forerunner of the European Space Agency. Although the Royal Society's formal responsibilities ended with the creation of the SRC, strong representation of Fellows within the early SRC structure helped ensure the continuity and growing international impact of UK space science. Although investment in space research in the UK subsequently fell well below that of other G7 nations (in GDP terms), the legacy of the efforts of the Royal Society can be found in the continuing high reputation of UK space science and in a strong UK space industry, which has a current annual turnover of £6 billion and a workforce of some 68 000.
The launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957 took the ‘free world’ by surprise. The dramatic announcement, made at a reception for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) International Committee held at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, was a particular blow to the prestige of the USA. Rivalry between the Army and Air Force had led to delays in the US plans to launch a satellite during the IGY, and it was not until 31 January 1958, after the Soviet Union had launched the much larger Sputnik 2, that the first US Explorer satellite reached orbit.
Although little more than a flying radio transmitter, Sputnik 1 undoubtedly achieved its political aims as it circled the Earth, bleeping every few seconds, until its battery failed three weeks into orbit. Astronomers at Cambridge and Jodrell Bank were quick to modify their radio equipment and provided some of the most precise early observations of Sputnik. Thereafter, the accompanying rocket booster remained visible to the naked eye at some 1st magnitude, with the orbital decay of the booster rocket yielding the first direct information on atmospheric density at heights of several hundred kilometres. The Royal Society took the lead in coordinating this new scientific study, and a Discussion Meeting, ‘Observations of Russian artificial satellites and their analysis’, held on 29 November 1957—less than two months after the first Sputnik launch—included 14 papers from UK scientists.1,2
Planning for a UK contribution to the IGY had in fact been proceeding for several years before the launch of Sputnik, led by the Royal Society's Gassiot Committee.3 The chairman of the committee at that time was H. S. W. Massey, Quain Professor and Head of Physics at University College London (UCL). Massey was well placed to ensure that the UK moved quickly and effectively in the early years of space research, being a physicist of international stature and retaining good postwar connections with the political establishment, while holding a key role at the Royal Society.
In those halcyon days before the research councils came into being, the Royal Society was the primary source of scientific advice to the government, and indirectly of research funding. That influence was very evident in the discussions that led to the development of the Skylark sounding rocket, a facility that was to serve UK researchers well for two decades.
The early development of a highly effective vehicle for space research was made possible by a happy coincidence of military and scientific interests in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Postwar defence planning was focused on the use of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and there was an urgent need for a better understanding of the medium through which those rockets would travel.4 A strong scientific interest in the upper atmosphere was no surprise, building on the prewar research in ionospheric physics and geomagnetism of pioneers such as E. A. Appleton, S. Chapman and J. A. Ratcliffe, while the physical and chemical processes involved in the interaction of the solar radiation on the upper atmosphere were a challenge for another group of scientists, including Massey, D. R. Bates and J. Sayers.
Remarkably, the first moves to consider the use of rockets for a programme of atmospheric physics had been taken as early as 1941, when the Air Ministry invited the Royal Society to examine ways of extending meteorological research to include the upper atmosphere. That request was referred to the Gassiot Committee, which had a strong and highly relevant membership, including Appleton and Chapman, with the Director of the Met Office, the President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Astronomer Royal as members ex officio. A detailed report was submitted to the Royal Society, accepted by its Council and published in 1944.5
Progress in implementation of the report was delayed by the war and—later—by the economic pressures of immediate postwar recovery. However, the scientific interest remained strong, and—although shrouded in strict secrecy—military development of rockets was actively proceeding at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) in Farnborough. Meanwhile, in the USA, scientific experiments flown on captured German V2 rockets had demonstrated their effectiveness in direct probing of the upper atmosphere and making the first crude measurements of solar X-radiation.6
A critical step for UK ambitions followed a proposal by Chapman in 1951 that the Gassiot Committee, by then chaired by Massey, should invite the American Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel to take part in a conference on rocket exploration. The conference took place at Chapman's college (Queen's) in Oxford in August 1953. Representatives of the Ministry of Supply were invited to attend. That invitation led to the now legendary telephone call to Massey's office on 13 May 1953, when the chairman of the Gassiot Committee was about to leave for Shenley to play in the annual UCL staff–students cricket match. Massey's response to the question, ‘would there be interest in using rockets available from the Ministry for scientific research?’ was an immediate ‘yes’ and a referral to his colleague R. L. F. Boyd to look at the details. That offer further increased enthusiasm for the Oxford conference, which was attended by members of the Gassiot Committee and subcommittees, the Deputy Director of the RAE (F. E. Jones), the Director of the Met Office, T. Gold from the Royal Greenwich Observatory, and delegates from Australia, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway. The American Rocket Research Panel had a 15-strong delegation, including its chairman, J. van Allen, W. H. Pickering, H. G. Newell and F. S. Johnson, all later to become major figures in space science in the USA.
After the conference, the potential UK academic base for space science grew beyond UCL, with strong interest from Bates and K. G. Emeleus at Queen's University, Belfast (QUB), W. G. Beynon of University College Wales (UCW) Aberystwyth, Sayers at Birmingham University, and P. A. Sheppard of Imperial College, London. The 1957/58 IGY provided a convenient focus. There remained a major problem of funding in the difficult postwar economy. The Royal Society decided on a direct approach to the Treasury, combining the scientific case for rocket experiments with the interests of the Ministry of Supply.
At meeting at the RAE in February 1954, the Director, Sir Arnold Hall, had revealed that a potential development of the CTV5 Series 3 rocket would take payloads of 100 pounds to an altitude of 125 miles. That revelation then underpinned the bid to the Treasury submitted by Sir David Blunt (Physical Secretary), requesting a four-year grant of £100 000, half to go to the Ministry of Supply for rockets and launch facilities and half to the Royal Society to provide grants to university groups to build the flight instruments.
While Treasury approval was awaited, the chairman of the Gassiot Committee paid a visit to Australia to see around the Weapons Research Establishment near Adelaide and the rocket range at Woomera. During the visit Massey also met with D. F. Martyn and L. Huxley, the latter offering local facilities in the Adelaide Physics Department to visiting UK scientists, an offer that I and other Skylark experimenters were to benefit from in later years.
Early in 1955 the Treasury approved the full amount requested, to be funded through the Air Ministry. Thereafter, regular meetings took place between the scientists directly concerned with instrument development and engineers from the RAE, an activity coordinated through the Gassiot Rocket subcommittee, set up in 1955. The first successful test flight of the newly christened Skylark sounding rocket took place at Woomera on 13 February 1957, and the first scientific experiments were conducted later that year (figure 1). The rapid and successful initiation of a programme involving a defence establishment, disparate university scientists and operations performed 11 000 miles away bears tribute to the Gassiot Committee's effective coordinating role and to Massey's strong personal links with Australia.
The informal but efficient way in which the Skylark programme was run in those early days is reflected in two comments at the Skylark Witness seminar held at the Science Museum in 2001.7 E. B. Dorling described how the launch programme was put together, with his role being to go around university groups matching experiment availability to launch schedule. With regard to funding, Boyd recalled Massey adopting a similarly democratic approach at meetings of the Rocket subcommittee, asking what each experimenter required and debating the requests before sharing out the funds available. The subsequent development of a variety of attitude control systems ensured the continuing value of Skylark well into the 1970s, with the early availability of a Sun-pointing facility being particularly appealing to the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) and to R. Wilson and colleagues working at the Atomic Energy Authority's Culham Laboratory on fusion research. Over the period 1957–78 more than 200 Skylark launches took place, mainly from Woomera but also from Andoya (Norway) and El Arenosillo (Spain), yielding a strong scientific return and providing valuable training for a generation of space scientists and engineers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
British contributions to the IGY
The early development of Skylark ensured that the UK was one of the few nations to actually conduct experiments during the IGY, with three successful flights in 1957 and 1958. Two flights carried the UCL grenade experiment, led by G. V. Groves, measuring the atmospheric wind and temperature profile,8 the ‘window experiment’ from Sheppard's group at Imperial College, in which clusters of metal strips were thrown from the rocket at different altitudes, to be followed by ground radar as they floated in the high altitude winds, and a radiofrequency probe from Sayers's group to measure electron density as a function of height. A fourth experiment, devised by Bates at QUB and deployed during a twilight flight, ejected several kilograms of sodium, which fluoresced in the sunlight at high altitude, again yielding information on atmospheric temperature, winds and density.
On the basis of those early Skylark flights, Massey took considerable satisfaction in being able to announce one of the very few science results (the thickness of the sporadic E-layer, lying between the E-layer and the F-layer and not visible with ground-based sounding) obtained from space-borne experiments during the IGY at the final conference of CSAGI (Conseil Scientifique Annuaire Géophysique International) in Moscow in July 1958. Shortly thereafter the Committee for Space Research (COSPAR) was formed, which continues today to be the principal international forum for space research.
The launch of three Soviet and four smaller US satellites during the IGY ushered in the new ‘Space Age’. In the USA, the National Academy of Sciences established a Space Science Board—which continues today—and NASA was formally established in October 1958. In Britain—although from a much smaller base—space activities already in prospect also seemed likely to require a new support structure.
The lead was again taken by the Royal Society; after a meeting of Fellows, the Council agreed in February 1959 to set up the British National Committee for Space Research (BNCSR), absorbing the ad hoc Gassiot sub-committees dealing with rockets and artificial satellites. In effect the BNCSR assumed the very substantial responsibility for planning and management of the national space research programme. With many interested parties, including the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), the Atomic Energy Authority, the Ministry of Supply, the Met Office and several learned societies, the BNCSR had an unwieldy initial membership of 28. The Royal Society retained a strong measure of control, however, with Massey as chairman, together with the new Physical Secretary (W. V. Hodge) and a strong body of Fellows (Bates, Sir Edward Bullard, W. R. Hawthorn, F. Hoyle, A. C. B. Lovell, Ratcliffe and L. R. Shepherd).
Two important subcommittees were formed, one (TADREC) to cover tracking, orbit analysis and data recovery (chaired by Ratcliffe) and the other the design of experiments (Massey). The key committee was the second one, which immediately set out to examine the need for attitude-controlled versions of Skylark and how to find space for British instruments on artificial satellites. The satellite question was to be quickly answered by an offer from the USA, and later the BNCSR became a key player in discussions to set up a European cooperation. In the short term, however, the intriguing possibility of a national satellite launcher had to be decided. Massey favoured a bold approach and was an advocate of a national launcher based on the intermediate-range ballistic missile Blue Streak, with the Black Knight test vehicle as a second stage. When Blue Streak was cancelled as a purely national project and offered instead as the first stage of a European launcher, it was evident that the best immediate option was collaboration with the USA.
After an open invitation by the US delegate to COSPAR at the Hague meeting in March 1959, made on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, to launch, without charge, scientific experiments or complete payloads from other countries, the BNCSR moved quickly to ensure the UK was first in line to take advantage of that offer. The outcome was a bilateral agreement between the two governments, and the cooperative Ariel satellite programme, which ran from Ariel 1 in 1962 to Ariel 6 in 1979. That highly successful series was to provide an outstanding opportunity for UK space science and also—as a result of technology transfer as the UK assumed increasing responsibilities through the series—a substantial boost to the fledgling UK space industry (figure 2).
The Ariel 1 satellite
The first satellite in the Anglo-American collaboration, UK-1 before launch, would have a payload weight of 150 pounds placed into a 300-mile circular orbit on the new, solid-fuel Scout rocket. Its scientific payload, selected by the Design of Experiments subcommittee, was influenced by a desire to benefit from experience gained on the early Skylark experiments, and focused on in situ sensing of the Earth's ionized layers, important for communication, and the related measurement of incident solar Lyman alpha radiation, X-radiation and cosmic rays. The BNCSR endorsed the payload selection, which was approved by the Americans in 1960. NASA would build the spacecraft structure, on-board data handling and telemetry, and instrument design and construction would be the responsibility of UK groups. Efficient data retrieval was also critical, and the TADREC subcommittee, chaired by Ratcliffe (then Director of the Radio Research Station at Slough), had a leading role.
Delays in the development of Scout led to a late switch to a Thor Delta, and Ariel 1 was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on 26 April 1962. Achieving the successful launch of a sophisticated scientific payload, within an international collaboration, and in only two years from effectively a standing start, was a considerable tribute to the effective coordination between R. Baumann, the US Project Manager at Goddard Space Flight Centre, his UK counterpart, M. O. Robins, and the project coordinator, Dorling, both located at UCL (figure 3).
Ariel 1 did not survive in rude health for very long, as the US Starfish hydrogen bomb test in the atmosphere above Johnston Island in the Pacific, on 9 July 1962, created intense belts of radioactive particles that were trapped in the Earth's magnetic field, some surviving for several years. The solar cells and several experiments, including my X-ray proportional counters, were badly damaged, and although scientific data continued to be obtained until November 1964, Massey was, in my view, being very diplomatic when, introducing the Royal Society Discussion Meeting9 a year after launch, he described the effects of Starfish as ‘not very serious’.
The European Space Research Organisation
While the possibility of a national satellite launch system was still being considered in 1960, collaborations with other European and Commonwealth countries were also anticipated. In the event, growing interest in space research in Europe led to the Italian physicist G. Amaldi circulating a proposal to form an organization along the lines of CERN. A meeting of senior scientists, including Massey from the UK, was held in P. Auger's flat in Paris in February 1960, to share national plans. The first formal meeting was hosted by the BNCSR in London two months later.
At that stage the UK was the major player, being the only country in western Europe with the potential for a national launcher, and with an established space science community. However, the political situation was complex, given the existing UK agreement with NASA and continuing ambitions, especially for Massey, in a Commonwealth programme.
A flurry of meetings revealed many disparate views as to the nature and organization of a European space programme, with the UK expressing little interest in the inclusion of space applications. The outcome was agreement for the UK to take part in a Preparatory Commission, noting the view of the BNCSR that this should not prejudice the national programme. An intergovernmental meeting held in Geneva in November 1960 (of Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) agreed to set up the Commission, with the UK holding out for science and launcher development being kept separate.
Planning for ESRO then began to take shape, with an ambitious programme of sounding rockets from year one (with launch sites in Sardinia and Kiruna), small satellites from year four, and space probes and large satellites from year seven. The estimated annual cost would rise to £16 million by the sixth year, with the UK being the main contributor at 25%.10 Accepting these estimates as reasonable for a viable ESRO programme, the BNCSR remained very keen to retain the Skylark programme and cooperation with NASA. Together with funds for experiment preparation, and tracking and data handling, a total cost of £1.85 million in ESRO's first year, rising to £3.9 million and £5.65 million in years three and six, was put to the new Steering Group for Space Research, and then to the Minister for Science. The Minister referred the matter to the Advisory Council for Scientific Policy (chaired by Lord Todd), where a figure of £6 million was accepted, with the proviso that the overall growth in science funding would accommodate that figure without damaging other sciences.
Preparations for ESRO were complex and political, with the location of ESRO centres being especially difficult. The UK made a strong bid for the satellite development centre being in Bracknell, but this was rejected owing to a feeling that it would further strengthen an already dominant UK position in European space research.11 However, the essential structure of the initial ESRO programme was close to that advocated by the BNCSR.
The political background
The Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, had formally announced the first British space research programme in 1959, with Lord Hailsham, the Lord President of the Council and Minister for Science, having overall responsibility.12 From then until 1964 the increasing scale of the programme created significant tensions within Whitehall (between the DSIR, the Treasury and Lord Hailsham's office) and with the Royal Society. Treasury scepticism is recalled in a note by G. R. Bell to Sir Richard Clarke13 asserting that the space programme was being pursued on purely prestige grounds, adding, ‘for all the value we get out of it, we might as well spend the money seeking gold in the outer Hebrides.’
In contrast, the Foreign Office was strongly supportive of Britain's leading role in forming a European programme. (This followed the first rejection of Britain's application to join the European Economic Community by De Gaulle.) Although Lord Hailsham, as Minister for Science, remained supportive, when required to attend the formal signing of the ESRO Convention he is reported as having been reluctant to travel ‘unless there was to be some entertainment in the way of a lunch’.14
Treasury concerns were partly addressed by creating a more formal procedure for financing space science, with a high-level Steering Group for Space Research within the Lord President's office, chaired by Bullard. The financial accounting officer was the secretary of the DSIR, with the BNCSR providing scientific input and continuing a coordinating and supervisory role of the science programme. In March 1961 the Steering Group agreed post-facto to grants for 15 university groups that had been recommended by the BNCSR since late 1959. In addition to the original five, these were from the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, Imperial College, Manchester, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Southampton. The year 1961 was the last in which no provision had to be made for a European programme.
Formation of the Science Research Council
Preparations for ESRO, adding to responsibilities for oversight of the Skylark and Anglo-American cooperation programmes, placed a considerable burden on the BNCSR. However, it was decided not worthwhile to consider major organizational changes for space science, pending the report of a high-level committee chaired by Sir Burke Trend, Secretary at the Treasury, set up in 1962 to examine the support for all civil science in Britain. The Royal Society argued that in any new arrangements the scientific and industrial responsibilities of the DSIR should be separated.
That view prevailed, and the Trend Committee report, published in October 1963, recommended that a Science Research Council (SRC) should be set up, taking over responsibility for nuclear physics, space science and the Royal Observatories. The SRC would also be responsible for postgraduate awards in science and engineering. Lord Hailsham welcomed the report, but its implementation was left to the incoming Wilson administration. That took place with the Science and Technology Act of 1965.
From 1965 onwards, decisions on the UK space science programme and related university grants were transferred from the Royal Society to the SRC. The SRC also took over responsibility for cooperation with NASA and UK participation in ESRO. The smooth transfer of responsibilities for the space programme was aided by Massey's agreeing to continue for a while as chairman of the BNCSR, in its reduced role. The continuing influence of the Royal Society in UK space science was further secured by the strong presence of Fellows on the SRC advisory structure. The Astronomy Space and Radio Board, chaired by Sir Bernard Lovell, was one of three boards advising the SRC, while the ASR Board's Space Policy and Grants Committee essentially took over the role of the BNCSR and had a strong representation of the space scientists involved from the start, including Sheppard (chairman), Beynon, Boyd, H. Elliot, Ratcliffe and Sayers, with Massey as Royal Society assessor.
Sir Harrie Massey, UCL Physics and my own introduction to space science
As this account will have made clear, Sir Harrie Massey (he was knighted in 1960) was the key player in establishing the UK as the clear leader—after the USA and the Soviet Union—in the early years of space research. In that role he was ably supported by many outstanding scientists and engineers, and the coincidence of military and scientific ambitions was undoubtedly important, something that the politically astute chairman of the Gassiot Committee was well able to exploit. The position of the Royal Society as the primary source of advice to government on science matters and the personal links of senior Officers with ministers and senior civil servants provided a means by which the Gassiot Committee could—and did—operate with a speed and impact that the present-day research council structure would find hard to emulate.
Massey's influence was also greatly strengthened by his position as head of the UCL Physics Department, which at that time was perhaps the strongest in the country. I recognize my own good fortune, later shared with many others going on to a career in space science after starting out at UCL, in being a research student in Boyd's Rocket Group,15 which by 1965 had evolved and expanded into new premises (as the Mullard Space Science Laboratory).
Although starting out in October 1956 with no knowledge and little previous interest in space science—or astronomy—the next three years were to prove an exciting time. In my first year I was put to work on the grenade experiment, probably because it was ‘all hands on deck’ to get ready for a first Skylark launch in the following year. Then, in late 1957, I was given my actual thesis project, to develop instruments for direct measurement of the solar X-radiation believed to have a controlling influence on the heating and ionization in the upper atmosphere. The only previous solar X-ray flux measurements had been obtained by Friedman's group at the US Navy Research Laboratory, using Geiger-counter detectors, with crude spectral information obtained by monitoring the increase in count rate as the rocket rose through the absorbing atmosphere.16
My supervisor suggested that we replace the Geiger counters with gas proportional counters, which had intrinsic energy resolution. That proved to be an excellent idea and began an extended use of proportional counters for X-ray astronomy that continues to the present day. In addition to useful spectral resolution, background reduction techniques made the proportional counter spectrometer (PCS) much more sensitive for the detection of faint sources than the Geiger counter.
Testing and calibration of those detectors, and of the special coarse-grain Kodirex emulsion acquired from the Kodak Research Laboratories, required vacuum X-ray equipment. That led to work at the Physics Department at Leicester University, where E. A. Stewardson and J. E. Wilson were studying the properties of rare earths. With a first successful Skylark flight of the PCS in 1959 and plans taking shape for a similar instrument to be carried into orbit on Ariel 1, it was decided to set up a new university research group to specialize in X-ray studies. Massey contacted Stewardson and it was agreed that the location of the new group would be at Leicester, where I would be offered an assistant lectureship. That duly happened and I took up my new post in January 1960.
The origins of space research took place in a very different world, with big characters and smaller government. The Royal Society clearly filled a void in providing essential guidance on scientific and related matters. Although the Society's influence was reduced with the creation of the SRC, continuity and influence were maintained for several years as many of the key players remained actively involved.
Preferential funding for big science did not survive for too long, however, and a decrease of 36% in the domestic funding of space science from 1979/80 to 1998/99, as the European Space Agency subscription doubled, made little sense in the light of the recommendation by the Richmond Panel that the UK should focus on exploiting European Space Agency programmes, while access to the often highly cost-effective bilateral opportunities was greatly reduced.
Nevertheless it is a tribute to those who laid the foundations half a century ago that a strong university space science community continues to maintain expertise and international visibility in an area that supports a successful UK space industry employing 68 000 and with an annual turnover of £6 billion.17
↵1 H. S. W. Massey and M. O. Robins, History of British space science (Cambridge University Press, 1986), at p. 42.
↵2 I recall spending several cold overnight vigils with UCL colleagues operating a photomultiplier tracking device to time the transits of the Sputnik booster rocket.
↵3 The Gassiot Committee was originally established in 1871 to supervise the running of the Kew Observatory, which had recently been inherited by the Royal Society from the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
↵4 Other motives of the Ministry of Supply, namely the perceived benefit to staff morale in working with the Royal Society and an aid to graduate recruitment, are mentioned in M. Godwin and M. D. Kandiah, Skylark sounding rockets 1957–72 (Centre for Contemporary British History, Institute of Historical Research, London University, 2005), at pp. 14 and 35.
↵5 Published in a special issue of Reports of Progress in Physics, volume 9 (1944).
↵6 H. Friedman, ‘Direct measurement of the Solar X-radiation’, Annls Geophys. 11, 60–65 (1955).
↵7 Godwin and Kandiah, op. cit. (note 4), at pp. 29 and 40.
↵8 I worked on the grenade experiment during my first year as a PhD student, developing an on-board infrared detector to record the grenade flashes during a daytime launch, when ground-based cameras would not function. That was a valuable early opportunity to gain experience in the special needs of space research, a training element of the Skylark programme that was to benefit many other budding space scientists over the following 20 years.
↵9 ‘A Discussion on the results from the first Anglo-American satellite, Ariel 1, and related observations’, Proc. R. Soc. A 281, 437–583 (1964).
↵10 Contributions to ESRO were GDP-based but limited to a maximum at the suggestion of the UK, whose share would otherwise have been 33%.
↵11 It is interesting to note that only in 2009, 45 years after the creation of ESRO, did the UK finally host an establishment of the European Space Agency.
↵12 Hansard, 12 May 1959, cols 1047–1050.
↵13 Godwin and Kandiah, op. cit. (note 4), at p. 14.
↵14 Godwin and Kandiah, op. cit. (note 4), at p. 15.
↵15 From 1953 to 1956 I was reading for a BSc in the Physics Department at UCL and knew nothing of the plans for the IGY, etc., pursuing—with undergraduate single-mindedness—a healthy mix of social, sporting and academic activity. In the event it may have been some aptitude for cricket that led to a subsequent career in space science. In May 1956 I captained the student team in the annual cricket match and had the temerity to bring an early end to Professor Massey's innings, with a successful shout for LBW which was granted by his fellow Australian, Eric Bishop. I did sometimes wonder whether the offer of an Admiralty scholarship to study for a PhD in UCL's newly formed Rocket Group was influenced by the Prof's wish to have me in his XI!
↵16 Friedman, op. cit. (note 6).
↵17 A UK space innovation and growth strategy 2010 to 2030 (Department of Business Innovation and Skills, London, 2010).
- © 2010 The Royal Society