Posted 13 February 2014 - 19:56
Rockets are not the only measure of a nations space program as they are now a commodity for most purposes.
The UK is a member of ESA, has flown astronauts to the ISS, is the home of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL - a satellite builder) and is also the base of Virgin Galactic - part of the Virgin Group. Tests and development in the US southwestern desert, but a British owned company.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo will fly payloads for NASA and other nations & universities, and its White Knight mothership will also carry LauncherOne, an orbital launcher. Both of its Newton liquid fueled engines are deep in development and have done test burns, NewtonOne a full mission burn. Quite impressive, and an even larger NewtonThree engine is in the pipeline.
Goal: an intercontinental suborbital transport, and orbital capability.
Then there is Skylon, which is a hot topic in aerospace circles because of the SABRE engine.