HC Deb 11 April 1986 vol 95 c223W
Mr. Stern

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the expected benefits to future research arising out of the GIOTTO programme.

Mr. Pattie

GIOTTO, ESA's mission to Halley's comet, has given European scientists a wealth of high-quality scientific data. Whilst the results will take several years to analyse fully, it is already clear that they will revolutionise the understanding of the origin, evolution and structure of comets, and of the evolution of the solar system.

The benefits from this mission extend even wider than these very important scientific results. GIOTTO was Europe's first major interplanetary probe. Through this mission, Europe has demonstrated that it is capable of planning and executing a scientific interplanetary mission which required many new advances in technology and accurate orbit management. British Aerospace, which was the prime contractor for GIOTTO, can take much credit for this success, as can the Mullard space science laboratory, the university of Kent and the Rutherford Appleton laboratory, the United Kingdom groups which built two out of the 10 scientific instruments on board.