Liberal Bishops responded with earnest books patiently explaining that Christians did not think that God was literally "up there" -- or even "out there". He was really, as Captain Kirk said "in here" -- in the human heart. Robinson’s proposed new theology in which “God” meant “whatever we most fully and deeply believe in” -- was, for most people, indistinguishable from atheism, which inadvertently proved Gargarin's or at any rate Kruschev's point. C.S Lewis noted that it wasn't very alarming to most Christians that the Russians hadn’t found “God” floating eight kilometers above the surface of the earth. “The really disquieting thing would be if they had.”
The burden of this difficult third album in the Chris Godfrey icosology is that you aren't any closer to God (or any further away from him) on the Moon as you would be anywhere else. Although Chris utters a lot of silent prayers, we never see him reading the Bible; but one imagines he was familiar with Psalm 139.
Operation Columbus was published in 1959: two years before Vostock I and four years before the Bishop of Woolwich's book. So my theory may not entirely hold water. But people really were thinking about space travel in religious terms.
Blast Off At Woomera, established the formula: boy goes up in rocket, boy comes down again. Domes of Pico, the second book, was a little bit louder and a little bit worse: boy goes all the way to moon; boy comes back to earth. This third volume takes things to their logical conclusion: boy lands on moon; boy comes home.