No British Astronauts?


Code Monkey
Staff member
While catching up on my news reading a blurb caught my attention... since 1986 Britain has prohibited human space flight?! :confused:

(Full article at The Space Review)
The British National Space Centre (BNSC), Britain’s equivalent of NASA, notes in a new report (UK Civil Space Strategy: 2008-2012 and beyond) that “In 1986, the UK chose not to participate in human space missions.” This decision is still in place in 2008. There were no British manned space programs before 1986 either, so it could be stated that the British government has avoided human spaceflight for the entire duration of the half-century-old Space Age.

This is remarkable because all the other major powers in the world are involved with human spaceflight to some degree. Among the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, Russia, and China have the independent capability of launching manned spacecraft, and France is a major partner in the European Space Agency’s manned flight program. In the Group of Eight (G8), again the United Kingdom is the only nation that opposes humans in space and prohibits governmental participation of any kind.
Could any of our UK friends shed some light on why the opposition to human space flight? Is it based on moral grounds? Technical? Is it a wide spread belief amongst the UK citizens or just a few key government players?

When mankind eventually steps out into the stars, will it be our British cousins left behind to turn out the lights?
You're right Kevin, This is interesting.
Perhaps they are just waiting for the road to be paved.
No, it is a cost decision. We are currently pressing for british astronauts and are a part of the european space agency. There doesn't seem to be the need to waste so much money putting astronauts in space when they have nothing profitable to do up there.
my blood is british, my body resides in the u.s., my heart and soul is in space. the empire needs to let go of its pocket-book, loosen its apron strings and let its citizens decide if they want to explore the only true unknown (space).

i am not! really not trying to sound to harsh. i just feel that the british isles need to join in the world exploration of the cosmos.

i am one person with a view as well as others here and i know our words nor voices will never be heard by the queen (god bless her) nor The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

we can at least speak our minds.