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Friday, October 28, 2016
Britain becomes 6th country in space, 1971
Prospero was the first British satellite successfully lauched on a British rocket October 28, 1971, joining the U.S., Soviet Union, France, China and Japan already in orbit. Britain had previously launched a satellite, Ariel 1, in 1962 but that was on an American rocket.
Its operations ceased May 1973 when its tape recorder failed and officially deactivated in 1996 but it was still being heard reportedly in 2004.
Its orbit should decay about 2070, so mark your calendars!