For years, the French and now the Chinese have attempted to emulate the large-scale efforts of the United States to waste as much of their taxpayers’ money as they can in orbit. The vision of a beflagged rocket thrusting into the vacuum is presented as a symbol of national virility.
We British should feel lucky that no government has ever felt the need to put a bloody great big Union Jack on top of a rocket and sling it into orbit. Since the ‘special relationship’ supplied most of the intelligence that the British required, a space policy was unnecessary and was not developed. Indeed, a civil space policy has emerged in recent years at the behest of the Brussels lunatics.
A quick survey, in an article by Taylor Dinerman, a spacepundit in The Space Review, provided a quick survey of contemporary and future developments in British space weaponisation. Possibilities include the potential development of defenses for new satellite capabilities and acquiring space strike capabilities for the RAF. It is clear that,
…this is not a joke. The UK does have a variety of military space systems and is developing more. It is inconceivable that any British government would ever willingly give up its status as a first-rank, medium-sized military power. Thus, they will have to develop a far more sophisticated and comprehensive approach to military operations in orbit than they have up to now.
The most interesting aspect of Dinerman’s conclusions is that the lack of government funding or inspiration in Britain has not prevented the development of a potential infrastructure for space in the UK.
Britain is, indeed, lucky that its entrepreneurial juices have not entirely dried up. Unlike other European states, whose governments have invested massively in space technology and who are struggling to replicate Americaï¿½s military space infrastructure, the UK has achieved potential military space independence largely through the efforts of small entrepreneurs, such as SSTLï¿½s CEO, Sir Martin Sweeting, and the Starchaser team. It is said that the British Empire was an inadvertent achievement. In the future, it may be said that Britainï¿½s place in space was gained through a similar accident.