Getting it up Down Under
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Tuesday, September 26 2017 @ 01:09 AM AEST

40 years since WRESAT

Australia's Project WRESAT (Weapons Research Establishment Satellite) involved the development and launch from Woomera of a small scientific satellite at 2.19 pm on 29 November 1967 (local time), thereby making Australia only the fourth country to launch its own satellite from its own territory after the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and France. The satellite, with its third stage rocket motor still attached, was placed in a near-polar orbit by a U.S. Redstone rocket.

The satellite re-entered over the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland at 11:34 GMT on 10 January 1968. It had completed 642 orbits and transmitted scientific data for 73 orbits.

The first stage of the launch vehicle fell in the Simpson Desert of central Australia, while the second stage came down in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Little of the second stage would have survived re-entry. However, the first stage was recovered in April 1990 and returned to Woomera some 600 kilometres south.

Have a look at some of these sites for more information. The video clips are well worth the time to look at. Seeing our payload getting bounced around in the back of a ute prior to attaching to the launch vehicle just seems so... Aussie. :)


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