How Britain intended to beat America to the moon: documents show that the United Kingdom intended to own a & # 39; a small step & # 39; a year before Neil Armstrong. on the lunar surface
- Diagrams and photos were discovered in an Airbus plant in Stevenage
- They show how scientists in the 1950s drew up plans to put a Brit on the moon
- The engineers planned to carry out a manned mission in 1968
- The revelations come a week before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing
British scientists were planning to put a man on the moon for the US and the Soviet Union, according to newly excavated documents.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the historic landing of Neil Armstrong, it appears that in the 1950s engineers in the United Kingdom had set their sights on first performance.
The plans were drawn up before John F Kennedy's famous speech at the US Congress in which he committed to launch an American man before the end of the decade.
Newly released documents show how Britain planned to compete with the US and the Soviet Union in the Space Race (photos & scientists working on the British Blue Streak rocket)
If the plans had blossomed, a British astronaut would have landed a year before landing on Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969 (photo)
The British scientists wanted to achieve their first soft landing in 1962 before they brought a Brit on the surface in 1968.
In 1970, engineers wanted to build a base on the moon and perform a seven-day expedition, according to The Telegraph.
It was believed that success in the Space Race would give Britain the prestige and military power.
If the plans had blossomed, the British astronaut Neil Armstrong & # 39; s & # 39; big leap for humanity & # 39; on July 20, 1969 with one year.
The secret plans were recently revealed after hundreds of photos and diagrams were uncovered at the Airbus plant in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, during recent renovations.
The Blue Streak rocket was originally a ballistic rocket that later became the first phase of the Europe satellite launch vehicle
The documents were found in an Airbus factory that was previously owned by the Havilland Propellers who were behind Blue Streak
The factory was previously owned by the Havilland Propellers who were responsible for the British Blue Streak nuclear missile.
It is thought that the space plans were drawn up when their defense contract was about to be terminated and technicians were looking for an alternative use for their expensive rocket.
Doug Millard, a Space Race expert from the London Science Museum, said: “It may be hard to believe now, but Britain was currently the third space force. It had rockets.
& # 39; By that time it was actually leading the space scene together with America and Russia. It is therefore not inconceivable to think that we could have developed a space program. & # 39;
The British Interplanetary Society, founded in 1931, influenced the pursuit of space travel.
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was a member of the British Interplanetary Society and urged Britain to lead to Space Race
It was believed that success in the Space Race would give Britain the prestige and military power
The group of academics and philosophers, including science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, devised a project to land on the moon using a multi-stage rocket.
After the Second World War, the group had created enough awareness that a trip to the moon might become conceivable.
According to the newly discovered plans, engineers planned for the British astronauts to land in the Piazzi Smyth crater at the Sea of Rains, 900 miles from the Sea of Tranquility where Apollo 11 landed.
It is not clear why the plans never came true, but Mr. Millard believes that the huge costs during the post-war period and the birth of the NHS may have influenced the program.
The British space agency said it was unaware of the plans.
Jeremy Close, Airbus spokesperson, said: & # 39; These archives, discovered in an old storage room in Stevenage, show that even in the 1960s our technicians look at technologies that were ahead of their time.
Prospero, a satellite launched in 1971, is still the only British satellite that orbit with a British vehicle.
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