Flight spare gyroscope unit from the Black Arrow R2 launcher, 1970.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Britain developed the Black Arrow as its national satellite launcher. This type of gyroscope was used on the third stage of the Black Arrow R2 vehicle, tested at Woomera, South Australia on 2nd September, 1970. It determined the attitude of its third stage with respect to that of the jettisoned second. This information was then used to perfect the design of the Black Arrow R3's third stage. R3 succesfully placed the X3 satellite, known as Prospero, into orbit on 28th October, 1971. This photograph shows the gyroscope without its cover.