Agreed, if there was to be a UK space agency I would prefer them to concentrate on payloads rather than launch systems. After all I'm not sure about the whole nationalistic approach to space flight. As far as science goes let the research councils fund projects that have the most relevant and pertinent proposal and if that involves space technology so be it. I would rather be able to pick the right technology from around the world rather than having to choose only domestic capabilities.As an example if the UK suddenly got interested in how bladderworts respond to microgravity then sending an astronaut on a space adventures Soyuz flight with a clipboard and pen might return the most data for the £ (pound).However once you factor in the benefit to the UK economy of developing a satellite, using domestic suppliers, containing a couple of bladderworts it might be better to do that.It all depends on how you view spaceflight - as a tool or as a strategic capability.
FransonUK - 1/10/2005 3:15 PMOut of interest, where would we launch from? I know you can't do much with where the UK is, but we're bound to own something near the Equator?
nacnud - 1/10/2005 3:44 PMWith the execption of sea launch are there currently any better launch sites than Kourou?
Stardust9906 - 2/10/2005 1:12 PMInformation on the Skylon can be found at http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/main.php?content=index also information on HOTOL at http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/hotol.htm