Queen Elizabeth II and Space: The End Of An Era

11th Sep 2022
Queen Elizabeth II and Space: The End Of An Era

Orbital Today, with its focus on the United Kingdom’s space industry, marks the passing of the country’s monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her 21st April 1926 birth as Princess Elizabeth of York came at the very dawn of rocketry. The American Robert H. Goddard flew the world’s very first liquid fuelled rocket just six weeks prior, on 16th March. By the time Sputnik I was launched in 1957, Elizabeth had been Queen for roughly five and a half years.

To Go Boldly

As Queen, Her Majesty remained above politics and policy, and officially refrained from the rise, fall, and resurrection of British space efforts. However, as the head of the country, she did mark important events regarding space both at home and abroad.

In this capacity, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin at Buckingham Palace in 1961. She also met the Apollo 11 astronauts at Buckingham Palace after their return from The Moon.

The Queen met with the first British astronaut to go into space, Dr Helen Sharman, in 2011, and sent a message to the first British astronaut on the International Space Station, Timothy Peake.

To The Bridge

Queen Elizabeth II and space also intersected with her visits to space related sites as part of her duties.

In 2007, Her Majesty The Queen visited the United States. The royal visit included a tour of Mission Control in Houston, Texas.

source: The Royal Family

The Queen also visited UK space industry sites. For example, she toured Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. twice.

source: SSTL

All of us at OrbitalToday.com would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the extended Royal Family and all of those that knew and loved Queen Elizabeth II. We are sure that the entire space industry will join us in celebrating her life and acknowledging her contribution and support to many aspects of UK life including this industry.

RIP Queen Elizabeth II. 1926-2022

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