The 197 lb. British built Ariel III satellite was put into a near Earth circular orbit on May 1967 by a Scout rocket as part of the joint Anglo/American cooperative space research programme. The scientific objectives were a continuation and extension of the investigations of ionospheric, atmospheric and space phenomena undertaken on Ariel I and Ariel II. As an introduction to the 'Ariel III discussion meeting' on 24 April 1968 the following aspects of the programme were described: (a) The scientific objectives and how they were related to the earlier work on Ariel I and Ariel II. (5) The general management structure of the project and the division of responsibilities. (c) The orbit and launch window requirements. (d) The performance of the satellite in orbit. (e) The organization and effectiveness of the data acquisition and data processing activities.