1962 launch of Ariel 1
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Ariel 1 satellite: 50 years of Britain in space

Britain sent up its first satellite 50 years ago when Ariel 1 launched on 26 April, 1962.

The joint British and American satellite marked the first time the UK sent something into orbit, and gave a lift-off for a part of the British economy that gets little attention but makes a lot of money.

Adam Fleming spoke to Doug Millard at the Science Museum, Sir Martin Sweeting from Surrey Satellite Technology and Space Minister David Willetts on Britain's role in space today.

Simulation pictures are from Reaction Engines

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