'Europa I' satellite launch vehicle, c 1965.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. The European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) was established in March 1962 with the aim of producing a European satellite launch vehicle, and was a collaboration between Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Australia was an asociate member, as it provided the launch facilities at Woomera. The result was Europa I, a three-stage rocket intended to be operational by 1966. Europa's first stage was a virtually unchanged British 'Blue Streak' misile. Its second stage was a French 'Coralie', and its third a German 'Astris'. The programme was dogged by failures in testing, and in 1970, Europa I was cancelled without ever having placed a satellite into orbit. A four-stage Europa II was also unsuccesful.