Satellite launch from England fails

The UK's first attempt to launch a satellite into space from its own territory failed on Tuesday night. Although the Cosmic Girl flying launch vehicle and launcher took off from Newquay Airport as planned, due to a technical problem it didn't reach the necessary altitude. There is mockery but also encouragement from the national press.

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The Spectator (GB) /

Embarrassing premature euphoria

The Spectator mocks the failed mission:

“The failure of the first ever satellite mission launched from UK soil last night left a number of people with egg on their face - including George Freeman, the government's boosterish science minister. The Tory MP was excited to witness the 'historic mission' firsthand in Newquay: so excited in fact that he trumpeted the mission's success before it was guaranteed. 'This genuinely is a historic moment for Britain,' he told the Daily Telegraph, soon after a plane carrying the rocket took off ahead of its launch over the Atlantic. 'We've won the space race in Europe.' Er, sadly not.”

The Times (GB) /

Don't give up!

There is no need to despair, The Times urges:

“Rockets of this sort are expected to fail almost one in four times. It is unfortunate that this failure curtailed what could have been Britain's first domestic launch, but the rocket did technically reach space before malfunctioning, making it the first object launched from British soil to do so. Every space programme suffers failures. ... Britain will be back in space before long. The sky is not the limit.”