Black Arrow R4 rocket and X3 flight spare satellite, Science Museum, 2000.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Britain developed the Black Arrow as its national satellite launcher. It is based on the small Black Knight research rocket and is a 3-stage vehicle 13.1m tall. The first 2 stages are liquid fuelled, with the final stage using a single solid rocket motor. Although the first test in June 1969 failed the second test in March 1970 was succesful. A satellite was launched in September 1970 but in July 1971 the programme was cancelled.