HC Deb 30 October 1957 vol 575 cc59-60W
79. Mr. Janner

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why it was not possible for the Royal Observatory at Hurstmonceaux to observe the path of the Russian satellite when it was first launched on 5th October.

Mr. Soames

Scientific interest in the satellite is not astronomical but geophysical. The equipment at the Royal Observatory is designed for the observation of natural celestial bodies, and it cannot be used for following objects moving at the speed of the satellite.

Nevertheless, the Observatory did calculate the satellite's orbit, and subsequently the rocket has been observed

total tonnage of Her Majesty's ships at the same dates; and what have been the causes of the relative increase of the former.

Mr. Soames

The number of flag officers serving in April of each of these years and the figures for total tonnages of H.M. Ships in the same years were as follows:

from there with the naked eye on a number of occasions since 10th October.