The Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire in the UK played a significant secret role during the Cold War. It was established in 1945 by Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the university, to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar in the Second World War.
I was given a tour of the non-public areas by Tim O’Brien, a Professor of Astrophysics and an Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester.
He reveals some intriguing details of the site’s Cold War roles including being Britain’s first nuclear attack early warning station and its recently revealed SIGINT (signals intelligence) collaboration with GCHQ, the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters.
Even more surprisingly Tim also reveals how Soviet Scientists also worked at the site and the story of how the Soviets attempted to get Bernard Lovell to defect during a visit to the Soviet Union.
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