Whatever I had been expecting, it is safe to say, I was totally astounded at this huge property. More like a National Trust property or stately home in outwardly appearance, this space laboratory can design and build space-ready instruments.
A canteen provided lunch, which we ate out on the patio which has a view nearly to the south coast:
I was shown round the site, which includes a vacuum chamber, vibration and heat testing labs, electronic workshops, and an outdoor swimming pool, where 4 people had just been swimming in their lunch break. Afternoon tea took place at 3pm on the patio, where people congregated to have a breath of fresh air, or discuss their latest science problem. It was a wonderfully laid back atmosphere, despite the pressure and deadlines behind the scenes, a perfect environment for study.
Many thanks to Dr Chris Arridge, Tom Nordheim, and others for giving me their time and a lot of useful information.