HC Deb 02 August 1962 vol 664 cc144-5W
Mr. Farey-Jones

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what changes have been made in the arrangements for administering the scientific space research programme.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

A Space Research Management Group was set up under the Office of the Minister for Science with effect from 1st May, 1962. It has assumed the responsibilities for management of the programme of experiments in rockets and satellites, previously dischargd, underad hoc arrangements, by two scientists and one engineer on loan to the Royal Society from the public service. The new group will comprise these three officers, five additional officers, and supporting staff.

This is again an ad hoc arrangement pending the outcome of the current inquiry into Government civil scientific organisation. It has been introduced in agreement with the Royal Society.

The British National Committee on Space Research, set up by the Royal Society, will continue to advise on the scientific content of the programme and the Steering Group on Space Research will continue to advice my noble Friend and policy matters in its field.

Mrs. Emmet

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science whether he will make a statement about the scientific information so far received from the satellite Ariel and about its behaviour.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

There has been a massive flow of coded data which it will take time to process and analyse. The experimenters are therefore not yet ready to express considered views but have already indicated that much interesting and valuable information about the structure of the ionosphere and the constitution of the high atmosphere is now available.

Ariel at first behaved almost perfectly but recently transmission of data has been interrupted irregularly. The reason is not known but is being investigated.

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