§ Mr. Onslow
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made with the review of the National Space Technology Programme; and if he will make a statement about the future of the Black Arrow Launcher.
§ Mr. Corfield
The first phase in the review of the National Space Technology Programme has now been completed. Plans to launch the X3 satellite on a Black Arrow vehicle later this year have been confirmed, but it has been decided that the Black Arrow launcher programme will be terminated once that launch has taken place.
We have come to this decision on Black Arrow mainly because the maintenance of a national programme for launchers of a comparatively limited capability both unduly limits the scope of the National Space Technology Programme and 163W absorbs a disproportionate share of the resources available for that programme.
We hope to complete our review in the early months of 1972. Meanwhile work is continuing in industry on research into basic satellite technology and on the development of the X4 satellite. X4 is planned to be launched in 1974 on a Scout vehicle to be purchased from N.A.S.A.