RE: Rocket wreckage found in outback

From: Bill Frost (
Date: Thu Jun 05 2008 - 08:20:43 UTC

  • Next message: Alberto Rango: "4542 SATOBS 04 JUN 2008."

    Hi John,
    I saw a number of Blue Streak missile launches when I lived at Woomera, but
    we moved out the year before that one. I'd hazard a guess it has been
    correctly identified for these reasons:
    *	A large portion of a Blue Streak rocket body from one of the
    launches is on display at the Woomera Museum having been recovered from the
    Simpson Desert. It is in similar condition to the photo.
    *	According to 'Fire Across the Desert', a history of the Woomera
    rocket range, page 468, "The first stage [of Blue Streak] had to be made
    either to fall 'short' into the Simpson Desert, whose northern limit lay
    some 795 kilometres from Woomera, or 'long' into the Gulf of Carpentaria."
    The Simpson Desert was chosen, at the cost of reduced performance. 
    *	Having ridden a mountain bike through the Simpson Desert, in 47
    degree Celsius heat, it is a very dry, arid, sandy environment. A lot of
    objects are preserved in that environment - two years ago someone found a
    perfectly preserved metal plate from the Burke and Wills exploration of
    -----Original Message-----
    From: John Locker [] 
    Sent: Thursday, 5 June 2008 12:11 AM
    Subject: Re: Rocket wreckage found in outback
    Great story and some amazing pictures.
    I'm no expert on the weather conditions which prevail in that region , but 
    the remains don't look like they have spent 40 years or more open to the 
    ravages of extreme temperatures.
    Having said that , it may be that its just those conditions which have led 
    to the hardware  staying in an almost pristine state.
    Could this be "wreckage" from a much more recent launch I wonder ????
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Michael & Caroline Rice" <>
    To: "'Seesat List'" <>
    Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 1:20 PM
    Subject: Rocket wreckage found in outback
    > From Australian ABC News
    > Also links to video 
    > And photo
    > Rocket wreckage found in outback
    > ===========================================================
    > Surveyors in the Simspon Desert have discovered what is believed to be 
    > part
    > of a blue streak rocket launched at Woomera in 1966.
    > Simon Fanning and his geological survey team were flying over the Simpson
    > Desert when they saw what they believed was part of satellite in the 
    > scrub.
    > "It turns out this wreck is not in fact a satellite but a rocket - at 
    > least
    > a chunk of one anyway" he said.
    > "I'd seen ET as a kid, Star Wars and all that stuff, but to actually find
    > something was really different."
    > Dr Alice Gorman of Flinders University in Adelaide believes the rocket 
    > could
    > be one of 10 blue streak rockets launched at Woomera in South Australia in
    > the 1960s by the European Launcher Development Organisation.
    > "The blue streak's very distinctive and the location in the Simpson Desert
    > and the details on the rocket indicate it's most likely from one of the 
    > two
    > 1966 launches" she said.
    > Mr Fanning is reluctant to disclose the precise location of the find, but
    > the ABC has found a EBay site offering the GPS coordinates for sale.
    > There is private collector interest in blue streaks, but Dr Gorman says 
    > this
    > discovery belongs in a museum.
    > "There was only a handful of them launched here in Australia" she said.
    > "I think it would be appropriate to put this one in a museum."
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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