Author Topic: Australia enters the space race!  (Read 1033 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rickshaw

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 9120
Australia enters the space race!
« on: September 25, 2017, 01:40:28 am »
Australia enters the Space Age!

WRESAT (abbreviation for: Weapons Research Establishment Satellite) was the name of the first Australian satellite. It was named after its designer, the Weapons Research Establishment located in Adelaide, South Australia.

WRESAT was launched on 29 November 1967 using a modified American Redstone rocket with two upper stages known as a Sparta from the Woomera Test Range in South Australia. The Sparta (left over from the joint Australian-US-UK Sparta program), was donated by the United States. The launch made Australia the seventh nation to have an Earth satellite launched, and the third nation to launch one from its own territory, after the Soviet Union and the United States (the UK, Canada and Italy's satellites were also launched on American rockets unlike the French Astérix, which launched on an indigenous rocket out of Algeria).

WRESAT weighed 45 kg (99 lb) and had the form of a cone with a length of 1.59 m (5 ft 3 in) and a mouth diameter of .76 m (2 ft 6 in). It remained connected with the third rocket stage and possessed with it an overall length of 2.17 m (7 ft 1 in). WRESAT circled the Earth on a nearly polar course, until it reentered the atmosphere after 642 revolutions on 10 January 1968, over the Atlantic Ocean. The battery-operated satellite sent data during its first 73 orbits of the Earth.

What was not known to the public at the time was that the US Space Agency, as part of the USAF's Anti-Ballistic Missile program had shipped two Atlas boosters to Woomera Rocket Range to be launched against Kwajalien atoll in the Eastern Pacific.  The plan was to test the ABM system with a missile launched from an unusual vector other than the usual North-East direction from the US mainland.  However, the Nike Zeus programme was terminated before the two Atlas boosters could be launched from Woomera.

Richard Smith, the director of the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientic Industrial Reserch Organisation) realised what a treasure trove the two Atlas boosters represented.   Marooned at Woomera, he managed to convince NASA and the Australian Government to allow their purchase at cost price.   He then set the CSIRO the task of copying the boosters.   The result was the creation, at a cut price of the Australian Space and ICBM Programme.

The new version of Atlas was named the Yamurru (Aboriginal for “Ghost”) as it appeared to spring from nothing, as far as the public were concerned.  The US Government was just as surprised when Australia announced in March 1970 that it would be launching a new, indigenous type of launcher from Woomera into the Western Pacific Ocean.   HMAS Melbourne was dispatched from Sydney to recover the capsule.   It's helicopters accomplished this and the new Astronaut was revealed to the public – Greg Norman, an ex-RAAF Mirage pilot.

Having proved the credentials of the Yamurru, the CSIRO started developing a re-entry vehicle for the ICBM version.   Using the data that had been assembled by the UK ICBM programme in the early 1960s, a re-entry vehicle was designed to carry a 50 kilotonne atomic warhead.   This was felt to be the largest warhead that Australia would assemble easily and in sufficient numbers.   A dummy warhead was flown several times and was successful to prove the CEP of the system.

Stationed deep in the centre of Australia, the Australian Missile Force represented a deterrent to any who dared to threaten the Australian nation.    The locations of the numerous above ground missile shelters are not marked on any maps and the vastness of the continent prevents any potential enemy from flying over it to discover their locations.  The locals are sworn to secrecy and special units of the Army, composed of mixed Indigenous Aborigines and white soldiers guard them securely.














The Model

The model is by Australian company Horizon Models and features the Mercury capsule, all the various ICBM warheads and so on.  It is easy to put together but difficult to paint properly.
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

Offline Old Wombat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 5534
  • Armour: The Gods of War love it!
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 03:16:27 am »
Nice build, Brian! :thumbsup:

Neat being able to swap out the payloads.


Is this in honour of Australia finally getting its own space agency? :unsure:

(I missed the news tonight but there was word that this would happen this morning.)

Sth Aus already has a space agency &, I believe, 70-odd/-ish companies directly involved in space associated R&D and manufacture.
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 7713
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 03:33:59 am »
Nice kit and finish!  :thumbsup:

Offline zenrat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 11513
  • The Devil's Avocet.
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 03:51:17 am »
To infinity and beyond!

Looks great Brian.

 :thumbsup:
Fred

Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries

Two barks for yes.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IMELBOUR261

Offline PR19_Kit

  • Closeted Take That fan
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 25759
  • Whiffing since the 70s
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 04:01:35 am »
Excellent stuff Brian.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

LOVE the backstory and the model too. Did Greg go into orbit later on?

And was this anything to do with your request for Blue Streak info a short while ago?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline rickshaw

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 9120
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 04:31:15 am »
Nice build, Brian! :thumbsup:

Neat being able to swap out the payloads.

Is this in honour of Australia finally getting its own space agency? :unsure:

Partly.  More to the fact my Father and Mother both met at Woomera back in the early 1950s.    :thumbsup:

Excellent stuff Brian.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

LOVE the backstory and the model too. Did Greg go into orbit later on?

Who knows?  We shall have to wait and see how this adventure develops, Kit.  :thumbsup:

Quote
And was this anything to do with your request for Blue Streak info a short while ago?

No, thats for a different story...  ;)
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

Offline NARSES2

  • Nick was always on his mind - just ask the Pet Shop Boys
  • Global Moderator
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 32618
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 06:22:15 am »
Nice work Brian  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline NARSES2

  • Nick was always on his mind - just ask the Pet Shop Boys
  • Global Moderator
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 32618
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 06:25:16 am »

Is this in honour of Australia finally getting its own space agency? :unsure:



That was in the U.K. news over the weekend and I must admit surprised me. I suppose I just assumed Australia already had one because of Woomera being in the news so much when i was a kid ?
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Old Wombat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 5534
  • Armour: The Gods of War love it!
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 06:30:27 am »
We should have had one back in the 1950's, 1960's at the latest, but we were too content riding on the coat-tails of others.
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

Offline rickshaw

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 9120
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 10:54:56 pm »
We should have had one back in the 1950's, 1960's at the latest, but we were too content riding on the coat-tails of others.

Space was always something others did, we just supplied the real estate to do it on.  Invariably, it was primarily the UK's efforts and the US's.   Australia was a convenient place out of the way where interesting experiments in re-entry vehicle design could be tried and where weapons could be tested.   If you read Des Ball's "Suitable Piece of Real Estate", which was written way back in the early 1970s, a lot of the truth comes out about had badly Oz was by the UK and the US.  There have been other books since but we all owe what we know now to Des Ball.   Pity he found the lure of working on the inside, formulating nuclear strategy for the Pentagon much more interesting than working on the outside, revealing the secrets.    :banghead:
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

Offline zenrat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 11513
  • The Devil's Avocet.
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 03:21:02 am »
Now The Malcom has announced the formation of AusNASA (will 'strayan space travellers be Boganauts?) it can be revealed that Parliament House in Canberra actually conceals a Thunderbirds style launch facility.

Fred

Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries

Two barks for yes.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IMELBOUR261

Offline Weaver

  • I'm either dumb or evil - you decide.....
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 15486
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 04:15:02 am »
Nice one Brian!  :thumbsup:
Neophyte: Is Eris true?
Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.
Neo: Even false things?
MtY: Even false things are true.
Neo: How can that be?
MtY: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
Principia Discordia

Twitter: @hws5mp
www.minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline rickshaw

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 9120
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 05:08:39 am »
Now The Malcom has announced the formation of AusNASA (will 'strayan space travellers be Boganauts?) it can be revealed that Parliament House in Canberra actually conceals a Thunderbirds style launch facility.

So, that is what the new security fencing is protecting?   :banghead:
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

Offline zenrat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 11513
  • The Devil's Avocet.
Re: Australia enters the space race!
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 04:48:25 am »
Now The Malcom has announced the formation of AusNASA (will 'strayan space travellers be Boganauts?) it can be revealed that Parliament House in Canberra actually conceals a Thunderbirds style launch facility.

So, that is what the new security fencing is protecting?   :banghead:

Yep.  Health & Safety concerns required it to mitigate the risk of protesters getting barbecued when the pond dropped and slid away for satellite  launches.

Looking at the pic again it has more in common with Marineville than Tracey Island.
Fred

Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries

Two barks for yes.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IMELBOUR261