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Space Research (Expenditure)

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science how much has been spent in the United Kingdom for each year since 1955 on space research and on the development of space launchers; how such expenditure has been divided between civil and military use; and how has it been divided between funds from public sources and funds from private sources.

Government expenditure on space research built up gradually from 1955 to 1959 but details are not readily available. Expenditure during those years included provision for sounding rocket experiments in connection with the International Geophysical Year and on observation and tracking of artificial earth satellites.Following the decision of Her Majesty's Government in 1959 to embark on a programme of experimental research using satellites, Government expenditure directly attributable to space research, excluding capital expenditure, rose to nearly £300,000 in 1960–61. It has been estimated that it will amount to about £550,000 in 1961–62.Government expenditure on Blue Streak as a satellite launcher began after the military requirement ended. It amounted to £2·6 million in 1960–61 and will be some £3·5 million in 1961–62 (up to the end of January).All the above figures relate to expenditure for civil purposes. In addition there has been since 1955 expenditure, mainly on military account, for which my noble Friend is not responsible but which has provided backing for the activities for which I have just given figures.No information is available about relevant expenditure from private funds.