Needles Rocket Test Site by Mike Osborne

Needles Rocket Test Site

The High Down Rocket Test Facility was a secret test site built in the 1950's above the famous Needles Rocks on the Isle of Wight when the UK was at the forefront of rocket technology. It was built to test the engines of the Black Knight and Blue Streak ballistic missiles and Black Arrow rocket, the latter becoming the first and only successful orbital launch by the UK, placing the Prospero satellite in orbit.

The Rocket Test site played an important part in the UK's early Cold War nuclear program and burgeoning space program, and is a rare example of a cutting edge Cold War test facility, crumbling relic hidden away in a small windy corner of a small Island.