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March 24, 2010 2:22 PM   Subscribe

UK Space Agency launched with a logo that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who." It's mission is to develop British space technology, "[b]ut this will have to be done through unmanned space activities, because for the foreseeable future the UKSA will not have enough resources to reverse the decision, taken by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, that Britain will not pay for manned space flights... planned expeditions to the International Space Station will be funded by the country's partners in the European Space Agency."
posted by kliuless (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
They may have to be unmanned missions but they didn't say anything about Gallifreyans.
posted by Babblesort at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2010


the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who

It's a good thing Nigel Kneale has dropped dead, because he'd probably be a bit pissed off about that.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is a great logo; why not give it a new lease on life?
posted by Flashman at 2:32 PM on March 24, 2010


How Dan Dare they?
posted by Abiezer at 2:35 PM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's the old British Aerospace logo.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


UK Space Agency launched with a logo that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who."

I'd be more worried about the booster rockets their staff are currently strapping to phone boxes across the countryside.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:46 PM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The old logo looks like it has a Dalek on the end of it.
posted by mazola at 2:46 PM on March 24, 2010


Fitting. Seems the UKSA is still running on the old Dr.'s effects budget, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:49 PM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


The text spacing and size is weird.
UK    SPACE AGENCY
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:49 PM on March 24, 2010


So, Thatcher really is the anti-Sagan.
posted by fuq at 2:53 PM on March 24, 2010


the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who

It's a good thing Nigel Kneale has dropped dead, because he'd probably be a bit pissed off about that.


Well technically it was in Doctor Who, although as an in joke... (NerdForLife)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:54 PM on March 24, 2010


It is a great logo, and I really love that it's clearly a lazy rip-off of an homage to an organisation from Quartermass and Dr Who.

Except... it doesn't work! Clearly it's supposed to be a corner of the Union flag, but it's missing a blue panel from the lower half. I'm sure designers could pop up to tell me that it's unimportant and doesn't detract from the message or something, but it is and it does. Because you know who loves space travel? Geeks. You know who can't help but obsess over little deviations from patterns and odd details like that? Yeah, still us.*

Otherwise, woohoo. Assuming it works well (unlike all the problems with the STFC) it should be a boon for UK space science. I'm not too upset about not shooting for human spaceflight; I'm not sold on its utility in the short term, and various other nations' efforts are already pushing forward the "permanent offworld colonies" for the ultra-long term. So, er, yay freeloading?

*Translation: I know that this logo is going to irritate me for the rest of its working life and that this is a sure sign of my crazitude, so I'm hoping that my subculture of choice will back me up here.
posted by metaBugs at 2:56 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh c'mon! Launching on Aril Fool's Day? Will a beagle be the mascot?
posted by vectr at 2:58 PM on March 24, 2010


I might be reading too much into that logo, but it looks to me to represent Saint Patrick's victory in his space race against Saints George and Andrew.
posted by 7segment at 2:59 PM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I might be reading too much into that logo, but it looks to me to represent Saint Patrick's victory in his space race against Saints George and Andrew.

St David, of course, already has his airbourne transportation sorted.
posted by metaBugs at 3:04 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


On non-preview, I'm right there with you metaBugs. it is important and does detract from the message.
posted by 7segment at 3:06 PM on March 24, 2010


The similarity was pointed out by Twitter user RthrTylr, in reply to Professor Brian Cox - the physicist, presenter of BBC 2's Wonders of the Solar System, and former rock star - who was at the launch and posted a picture of the new logo.

Obviously, America is in serious danger of ceding outer space to a new British Invasion. Call George Clinton on the Mothership and tell him that we need to be One Nation Under a Groove again!
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:18 PM on March 24, 2010


I seem to have dropped a "p", more fool me.
posted by vectr at 3:19 PM on March 24, 2010


Artw, thank you for showing me what an idiot I was thinking I had to rush into this thread to make a huge ass defense of Quatermass, something I've never actually seen.

And fearfulsymmetry for stealing my back-up joke and making me less alone with my nerd for life status.

That said, I've got to update tardiswiki's entry for British Rocket Group since they're missing at least one in-universe Doctor Who reference.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:30 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, Thatcher really is the anti-Sagan.

Well she certainly working with The Mekon. As Garth Ennis told us in Dare.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:42 PM on March 24, 2010


Dare was Morrison. Ennis did a pretty traditional Dan Dare story, with no suprise bumming.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on March 24, 2010


Oh god, I hang my head in geek shame.. don't know what I was thinking there (or perhaps it was Capt Dyslexia again). Of course it was Morrison with the surprise bumming... Ennis had the bumming in, well yeah, just about everything else he wrote.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:08 PM on March 24, 2010


(Ennis Dare spoiler)

To be fair, he did have a traitorous Blair-a-like.
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on March 24, 2010


More on the Morrison Dare.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on March 24, 2010


And the actual scene.

I actually think Dare was pretty fucking great, but that bit in particular really annoyed some folks.

(I suppose this is all very spoilerific, but is suspect anyone whose going to read the thing already has)
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on March 24, 2010


If they made that upward pointing arrow a little more phallic, it would go really well with the suggestive London Olympics logo.
posted by crapmatic at 5:06 PM on March 24, 2010


Is Doctor Who the British equivalent of Colbert?
posted by qvantamon at 6:08 PM on March 24, 2010


Is Doctor Who the British equivalent of Colbert?

It's a show I'm constantly told is one of the most fabulous science fiction tv series ever, but have always left me with a meh and a shrug.


...but, geek references in the real world always are a win. Unlike NASA cowering out of their own contest to name a module on the ISS, after the name Serenity won the contest.
posted by Atreides at 6:26 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the ban on manned space missions is one of the (not very many) things Thatcher got right. Sending humans into space is vastly expensive and has little in the way of payoffs. We already know how to get humans into space, keep them alive and bring them back down; over and above that, the only things an astronaut can do that a robotic experimental platform can't is wave to schoolchildren and serve as a propaganda coup for how awesome your country is (which is less important now that the Cold War is over).

Perhaps at some point there will come a stage when it makes scientific and economic sense to send humans up there (though by then I imagine that AIs or uploaded intelligence may have rendered actual flesh-and-blood astronauts as quaintly obsolete as Polaroid cameras), but now isn't it. And pissing billions of pounds away on sending Major Tom into orbit to shake a few test tubes, unfurl the Union Jack and video-chat with the Queen when the same amount of money would buy five times the science (and have money left over for fixing the hospitals/schools/railways) seems just irresponsible.
posted by acb at 6:43 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whether or not it's a faithful rendition of the Union Jack, the UK Space Agency logo Kicks Ass! (If one of the perks for working there was a jacket with that logo on the back, I'd be willing to relocate.)

The British Rocket Group logo, on the other hand, is just OK.

Also, how many rock star PhD physicists named Brian does the UK have?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:19 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


EndsOfInvention, thanks for noticing the typographic weirdness of this brand. The gap between UK and SPACE is unbearable; also the handling of the word AGENCY, being caption-like, a description of the words above it, creates strange subtexts. Is it an AGENCY FOR UK SPACE instead of a UK AGENCY FOR SPACE? Has space already been owned and fenced?
Yeah, what a fool I am. Of course it has.
posted by acrobat at 3:47 AM on March 25, 2010


Is Doctor Who the British equivalent of Colbert?

In the sense that it is rubbish pantomime mugging that people inexplicable love, yes.
posted by ninebelow at 4:14 AM on March 25, 2010


Also, how many rock star PhD physicists named Brian does the UK have?

It's a demographics thing. The big push to get more women involved in the physical sciences is making promising progress, so we're trying to broaden access to more sections of society. We had a quick count and it turns out that, in hard physics, rock stars were a heavily under-represented group, so we fixed it. "Brian" just happens to be a very rock'n'roll name.

Personally, I can't wait for the influx of female glamour models into molecular biology. Any day now.
posted by metaBugs at 4:16 AM on March 25, 2010


Sorry, I take that back I was thinking of Stewart, not Colbert.

America is in serious danger of ceding outer space to a new British Invasion.

Luckily for you, playing keyboards in D:ream does not a rock star make. Brian May is bona fide though.
posted by ninebelow at 4:17 AM on March 25, 2010



Obviously, America is in serious danger of ceding outer space to a new British Invasion.


Outer Space already fell to the British after David Bowie conquered the Spiders Of Mars and T Rex set up The Ballroom Initiative.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


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