Scale 1:10 Published: June 11, 2020


Right click to download:
Model sheet (1.97 MB)
Instruction (1.86 MB)


Cardboard model of prospero satellite

Scale model of UK satellite Prospero

Prospero with Black Arrow launcher


Prospero or X3 was not the first British satellite, but it was the first to be launched by a British launch vehicle. And for the moment also the last one.

The British rocket Black Arrow was in fact already cancelled, when the Prospero satellite as a last effort was launched on 28 October 1971 at Woomera, South Australia.

The small satellite carried several experiments. Beside larger solar cells for power supply, it carried smaller experimental solar cells.
At the top there was a micrometeoroid detector and the different small colored tiles was experimental surface finishes. Also a new lightweight electronic circuitry was tested.

Prospero is still in orbit although it's tape recorders stopped working in 1973. It not expected to decay until about 2070, almost 100 years after its launch.

Books and other sources:

Brian Harvey, Europe's Spaceprogramme to Ariane and beyond

Douglas Millard, The Black Arrow rocket

H. J. H. Sketch, The Prospero Satellite

My own photos from Science Museum, London

Joe Myerscough - Once we had a rocket

Wikipedia - Prospero satellite