Gamma 201 rocket engine, c 1957.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Armstrong-Siddeley Motors Company developed this engine between 1955 and 1957 for the first Black Knight test vehicles. It burned kerosene fuel and hydrogen peroxide. The initial Black Knight vehicles were single-stage rockets designed to test prototype re-entry heads for the proposed Blue Streak strategic misile. Testing of the Black Knight began at Woomera, Australia in 1958, but the Blue Streak project was cancelled in 1960. The rockets continued to be tested until 1965, as part of a planned two-stage space launcher, using the Gamma 201 for the first stage until August 1962, when it was replaced by the more powerful Gamma 301.