TARDIS Index File

British Rocket Group

The British Rocket Group was the United Kingdom's space exploration organisation in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

After the war, the Group hired a German professor Heinrich Schumann. He was (correctly) suspected to be a Nazi war criminal by his co-workers but was never charged. (AUDIO: Threshold) Other post-war staff included Professor Jeffrey Broderick, Professor Rachel Jensen, Allison Williams, and a man called Bernard. (AUDIO: Artificial Intelligence; TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

During the 1950s and early 1960s, it was famous for its pioneering work on propulsion systems and rocket guidance arrays and for a serious of controversial orbital flights. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) In 1959 it collaborated with the United States of America on an experimental space plane, the Waverider; the project director was Edward Drakefell. The Waverider was destroyed in an encounter with a hostile parallel universe. (PROSE: Loving the Alien)

It was reduced to a skeleton crew by the 1960s. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

In 1963, the Intrusion Countermeasures Group drafted Jensen and Williams to help with the Shoreditch Incident. Jensen remarked that the British Rocket Group had problems. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

When Professor Ralph Cornish took over, the Group was rejuvenated and renamed the British Space Centre. Using Cyberman technology, it jumped to the forefront of the space race and by 1969 (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy), it was running the Mars Probe series of spaceflights to Mars. (TV: The Ambassadors of Death)

By 1970, the name was Rocket Group again. Cornish was in overall charge of Britain's space programme and Professor Bernard Trainor ran the Group. It was instrumental in getting useful information about Neptune and Uranus from unmanned probes. Trainor was killed that year during the Waro attack. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

The Martian missions ended after 1977's Mars Probe 12 was slaughtered by the Ice Warriors. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

By 1997, the Science Minister Lord Grayhaven pushed for a new Mars 97 manned mission as part of a conspiracy: to give an Ice Warrior faction an excuse to invade and occupy Britain. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

In 2006, Prime Minister Harriet Jones oversaw the launch of the Guinevere One satellite. This was launched by the British Rocket Group under Professor Daniel Llewellyn. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)

In the early to mid 21st century,the space tourism billionaire Campbell Irons bought the Rocket Group and moved it to Devesham. (AUDIO: The Feast of Axos)

Behind the scenes edit

The British Rocket Group were the protagonists in the influential Quatermass sci-fi serials. The mention of the Group and "Bernard" (Quatermass' first name) was an easter egg reference by Ben Aaronovitch. (In Quatermass, they were originally called the British Experimental Rocket Group)

Who Killed Kennedy states that their name was changed by Ralph Cornish, explaining why a different name was used in The Ambassadors of Death.

While the agency is unnamed in The Christmas Invasion, a "British Rocket Group" logo can be made out in the background. The BBC created an in-universe tie-in website for the Guinevere One which included a Rocket Group history, though this is not considered canonical by this wiki.

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