A live event at the former secret Rocket Testing Facility at West High Down, Needles New Battery, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight, PO39 0JH
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of ‘Prospero’
Fri 28 Oct 2011 1pm - Dusk
Orbit – Offsite is a live event linked with the exhibition Orbit in The West Gallery, Quay Arts, Sat 22 Oct – Sat 3 Dec 2011.
Quay Arts, Sea Street, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight PO30 5BD
Open: Mon – Sat 9.30am – 4.00pm, closed bank holidays
Quay Arts 2010 Open winner Katayoun Dowlatshahi has created Orbit – a new body of artwork for The West Gallery, Quay Arts, inspired by a former Cold War rocket testing site on the Island. With the support of National Trust, Astrium in the UK, part of Europe’s largest space company, Mullard - Space Science Laboratory and Arts Council England, she has co-ordinated a live event at West High Down, formally a secret Cold War rocket testing site, to mark the 40th Anniversary of Prospero - the only British built satellite to be placed into Earth’s orbit atop a British built rocket - Black Arrow, which was built and tested on the Island.
For the first time since the closure of the site in 1971, the event will see the return of working pulse jet rockets to the site by 11 apprentices from Astrium’s Portsmouth and Stevenage sites. The launch of a scale model of Black Arrow; three speakers covering topics ranging from a historical, scientific and business perspective; a memory wall for those associated with the British Space Programme to contribute to either in the form of memories or artefacts; interactive activities for all ages, finally leading to a lantern launch at dusk. THE EVENT IS FREE!
If you know of anyone who worked for the British Space Programme prior to 1971 and who was involved with building and testing of rockets on the Island and the launch of Prospero, please can you inform them of this celebratory event and reunion. An Island based media company will be producing a documentary on the events and we hope to interview former engineers and scientists. Boffins Media will also be conducting interviews on the day for an online podcast at Space Boffins Podcast
We ask you to book through Quay Arts Box Office on 01983 822490 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website Quay Arts
You can pre-book a return journey on a private coach from Ryde to Newport to visit the exhibition before travelling on to West High Down. For more information about costs and times please contact Quay Arts Box Office.
Refreshments and snacks are available from The National Trust kiosk.
Parking is available below the Headland; charges will apply. A Needles Breezer Bus runs every half an hour from Yarmouth to West High Down and back; half price for National Trust members. An additional service has been put on to coincide with the end of the event.
Children must be supervised at all times.
The exhibition and offsite event are support by ACE Lottery, Quay Arts, National Trust and Astrium.