Swedish Rocket Ends British Space Era

The firing of a Swedish rocket Monday marked the end of an era in British space research.

The 441st and final rocket with a Skylark engine was launched from Sweden’s Arctic Esrange space base.

The first Skylark was fired from Woomera in Australia in 1958. In the intervening years Skylark enginees have been used to carry everything from crystals to frogs’ eggs into space to see how they react in a gravity-free environment.

The final launch with the Swedish Maser 10 rocket carried a payload with 5 scientific experiments for the European Space Agency 252 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.