back to article Australia gets a space strategy

Australia has itself a space strategy of sorts: nothing grand, but a signal that the dearth of space applications research down under might finally come to an end. The focus of the government strategy, launched yesterday, is going to be on satellites rather than the scary stuff like launch platforms. In part, it appears to be …


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  1. Thorne

    Bruce in Spaceeeeeee............

    If Bruce goes into space, who'll look after the sheep dip?

    1. Vaughan 1

      Re: Bruce in Spaceeeeeee............

      Bruce of course

    2. Peter Murphy

      Dips in Spaceeeeeee............

      That would be a hell of a scientific experiment: can one dip a sheep in zero gravity? How do you deal with the big floating droplet of the stuff, and can you do it for multiple sheep? It might be Ig Nobel worthy material, but someone should have a go.

  2. Adrian Midgley 1

    unauthorised launches?

    Who'd authorise a state to launch a spaceship?

    1. Thorne

      Re: unauthorised launches?

      "Who'd authorise a state to launch a spaceship?"

      Bruce would of course...

    2. Martin Budden

      Re: unauthorised launches?

      Never mind the six states, who'd authorise a territory to launch a spaceship?

      (the aussie icon)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laugh it up...

    It is a little known fact that Australia launched a satellite on 29 November 1967.


    The satellite was launched into orbit from the Woomera Rocket Range, which is in a very isolated desert part of South Australia. The payload was shaped like a cone and was just over two metres long, weighing more than 70 kg. It carried scientific tests for measuring the composition of the atmosphere and solar radiation. The satellite was in orbit for about six weeks before it re-entered the atmosphere. Australian scientists continued important space research using rockets fired from Woomera until it was closed in 1980.

    1. FlatEarther
      Thumb Up

      Re: Laugh it up...

      Wresat, named after WRE, the Weapons Research Establishment. Amongst the fun projects they did was "Airborne Recovery", an attempt to catch missiles in nets dragged behind Beaufort bombers.

      Their most successful ongoing activity, in that it made money was, err, sheep grazing on their extensive site.

  4. Paul Westerman

    Watch out

    The drop bears are getting more daring I see

  5. TheOtherMe

    Big Empty

    With the great big empty that is most of the inland of this wonderful island, we should seriously be looking at launch capabilities surely?

    1. Thorne

      Re: Big Empty

      That would upset the aboriginals, who would need a massive cash payout to make them feel better about having a sacred site destroyed and turned into a launch pad...

    2. Martin Budden

      Re: Big Empty

      It's not empty, it just doesn't have many buildings.

  6. TimChuma

    Woomera doesn't get as much action as it used to.

    Supposedly is one of the only rocket launching facilities where the launch and recovery were in the same country, was a landing zone on the West Australian coast.

    There is a $10,000 departure tax if you leave the country on a rocket.

    Australia also has the distinction of selling uranium to another country so it could have bombs exploded on its soil. Also they once sprayed plutonium across the desert by melting it with explosives. Fun times.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was very lucky to collect on eBay a few years ago, some WRESAT memorabilia,

    in the form of a desk set with a scale model of the satellite pointing optimistically

    upward on a little stand on a base of the same material. Inset in the base is a brass

    receptacle and inside that was a lapel pin, with WRESAT logo on it. Obviously this

    was some commemorative kit and seems it might have been turned in the lab, by

    someone involved on the project. It is made of some kind of metal that might

    be offcuts of material used in the original project. I am so lucky to have this

    piece of Australia's space history. I have scoured everything I know about WRESAT

    but no info about where ithis might have been presented if at all...

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