Not least, perhaps, because the British government has something of a long-standing ban on astronauts. Admittedly, there had been some murmuring that the ban was going to be lifted in the light of renewed energy in the space race concept.
But no, the news was clear: four astronauts had been launched to an altitude of just over 30 km, each with a different spacesuit design, and temperatures were monitored to see how well each coped.
There are two truly surprising things about this story. The first is that the astronauts in question, considering the dangers of such a mission, were not brave volunteers nor convicted paedophiles.
The astronauts were, in fact, teddy bears. Teddy bears wearing space suits. Actually, to be precise they ended up as very cold teddy bears wearing space suits. "We fear that the bears may all have frozen" a Cambridge University Spaceflight spokesperson says.
Probably because every single one of the space suits allowed the teddy temperatures to drop below -40 degrees Centigrade. One went as low as -53, which is not conducive to being a happy bear.
The second surprise was that this was no hugely expensive space mission, but amazingly a school science project! Kids aged 11 and 12 from the Parkside and Coleridge Community Colleges in Cambridge were responsible for putting Brits back on the space map.
Still, bears are better than worms in space I guess. Not to mention Norton Nerds in space, or worse of all those darned robot therapists in space...