Saturday 1 October 2016

Rosetta with Europe or Blue Streak alone?

Way back in the 1950s we in Britain tried to develop a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) called Blue Streak, which would "deliver" the independent British nuclear bomb and so enable us to "keep up with the Joneses " (ie the US and USSR.)  However, Blue Streak proved too difficult and too expensive, so was abandoned and from 1960 we had to rely on the American Skybolt (and later Polaris and Trident) to "deliver" our bomb.

Yesterday the wonderful Rosetta spacecraft  was deliberately crashed into the comet it had been examining for two years after having taken 10 years to cover the 300m miles to reach it.  In its way, we are told , the Rosetta achievement is equivalent in our time to the Russians launching the first spacecraft,  Sputnik, in 1957 and of the Americans landing on the moon in 1969.

Rosetta is a project of the European Space Agency, in which 22 European states, including Britain, work together and so together match the achievements of the US and Russia, and, presumably, in due course, or maybe even already, those of China and India

The European Space Agency is not part of the European Union, but is nevertheless an illustration of how much more we can achieve by working with our European neighbours rather than trying to "go it alone."

Surely here are lessons for our economic and technological progress, control of climate change, prevention of pollution, preservation of human rights, arms control  and the creation and preservation of peace?

Pity the Rosetta project wasn't in the headlines during the  EU referendum campaign

1 comment:

  1. The European Space Agency is not part of the European Union

    This, surely, is the point: international co-operation good, would-be federal super-states bad.

    So let's have a lot more of the former, and be well shot of the latter.