Black Arrow R4 launch vehicle, 1971.

Black Arrow R4 rocket in the Space Gallery, Science Museum, 2000.
The Black Arrow rockets were derived from Britain's Black Knight ballistic-missile test vehicle, and used further variants of the Gamma rocket engines that had been evolved from the original German designs of the Second World War. These engines burned liquid fuel - usually kerosene - in concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Black Arrow was developed as a technology test vehicle for the rocket itself and the satellites it would launch. The programme was cancelled in the summer of 1971, but rocket R3 was launched in October that year and placed the Prospero satellite in a polar orbit, making Britain the fifth nation to launch its own spacecraft. Prospero will continue to orbit the Earth for the rest of the 21st century, while Prospero's flight spare can be seen in the Space gallery being 'deployed' from Black Arrow R4.
Currently on display in:
Exploring Space
Year made :
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