MUSTARD in space

In 1957 Arthur C. Clarke published a collection of loosely related stories in Tales from the White Hart. From the blurb to a recent edition:
Although written, as the author informs us in his Introduction to the 1969 edition, in such diverse locations as New York, Miami, Columbo and Sydney there is something inherently English about these stories. London's famed Fleet Street district has changed dramatically in the five decades since the collection's first appearance as a Ballantine paperback original… and, of course, many of the regulars of the White Hart (based on the White Horse pub on Fetter Lane) are no longer with us. But the White Hart's most prominent raconteur  Harry Purvis can still be found propping up the bar and regaling us all once again with tales of quirky and often downright eccentric scientists and inventors.
Some sense of the atmosphere of Clarke's stories – and the real life organisations on which they were based – can be got from Poking fun at Britain's Moon Men at

All this came back to me when I read the obituary of Tom Smith, one of the designers of the British Space Shuttle.
The idea of the Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device, or MUSTARD as it was known, arose out of an Air Ministry contract for BAC to study “hypersonic” speed (five times the speed of sound and above). A team was formed under Smith’s leadership at BAC’s Warton airbase, near Preston, Lancashire. … MUSTARD was regarded as a suitable project for joint development by European aerospace companies, with a cost estimated to be around “20 to 30 times cheaper” than that of the expendable rocket launch systems of the time. Unfortunately, as with so many other British inventions, the government of the day decided not to proceed. About three years after MUSTARD was cancelled, the Americans became interested in a reusable aircraft.