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First commercial rocket blasts off from Australian soil

DavidsSling

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Sep 30, 2019
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The first commercial rocket to be launched from Australia to the edge of space has blasted off from a range in South Australia.

The 34kg, 3.4-metre-long DART rocket was launched from the Koonibba Rocket Range today and carried a payload for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The project was a joint partnership between Defence, Australian companies Southern Launch and DEWC Systems and Dutch company T-Minus Engineering.

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Air Force launched its first ever sub-orbital rocket from Australia to the edge of space. The payload included an Australian-designed and made miniature radio frequency receiver prototype. (Sean Jorgensen-Day/DEWC Systems Engineer)

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The rocket blasts off. (Supplied)

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Crowds gathered to watch the launch. (9News)


The launch forms part of the Air Force's Plan Jericho, a program to detect and track targets.

The program also includes high altitude balloon launches.

"The rocket is unlike any rocket ever launched in Australia, and is part of what is known as 'New Space' technologies – small rockets carrying reduced sized satellites using commercially available technologies," Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said.

Today's launch came after a failed attempt on Tuesday and was done in consultation with the local Indigenous community.

 

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