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Britain in space: Is the country ready for a giant leap?

The triumphs of 20th century space exploration were colossal. Will Britain play a role in the triumphs of the 21st?

By Jay Elwes   July 2018

Engineers work on a small scout rover for the ESA ExoMars mission at an Airbus test centre designed to mimic the surface of the red planet. Photo: RICHARD GRAY/ALAMY

Ask someone about space-flight and perhaps they’ll tell you about the heroism of Yuri Gagarin, who in 1961 became the first human ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere, or about the moon landing—that “giant leap”—taken by the United States in 1969. The triumphs of 20th century space exploration were colossal. They expanded humanity’s sense of what was possible. But…

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