For a while, not even Nasa knew about the test, but later it became clear what had happened, and that it had badly affected Ariel-1's ability to generate its own electrical power from the solar generators.
To get the project off the ground (pardon the pun) we will be sending 2kg of rocket seeds to the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake's six-month mission. After several months on board, orbiting the planet at 17,000mph, the seeds will be returned to Earth and sent to thousands of UK schools...
Next year Tim Peake, a former Major in the British Army Air Corps, will be Britain's first official astronaut to make it into space... Peake will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) where he'll spend six months carrying out experiments on the ESA's Columbus laboratory module.
Unlike France, the US and most other countries, UK companies involved in activities in space are strictly liable without limit for damage caused to aircraft in flight or on the surface of the earth. That is because governments are liable under the outer space treaties and because the UK government requires UK companies to indemnify it.