The payload’s purpose was to collect information with its built-in sensors as it fell back to Earth to assist with DEWC’s development of satellite technology.
‘Our mission will go ahead’
DEWC chief executive Ian Spencer said although the misfire was a little disappointing, he was glad it was “out of the way”.
“I don’t think it’s a real rocket launch activity unless we have at least one failure to launch,” Mr Spencer said.
“Our mission will go ahead and I’m sure we’ll get a launch out of it this week.”
Mr Spencer said DEWC was partway through designing satellites that would help the Australian Defence Force.
“We’re taking some of the information that we were going to learn this week to incorporate into some of our software,” he said.
“That’s on track and ahead of schedule. We expect to deliver that concept demonstrator next year.
“If we’re fortunate enough, we’ll be able to push that through in 18 months.
‘Next step’ in the space industry
Royal Australian Air Force Group Captain Tobyn Bearman said the air force was interested in supporting DEWC and Southern Launch in experimenting with the “next step” of sensors that were built into the rocket’s payload.
“These are next-generation sensors that we’re exploring — what they can provide in terms of information from the upper atmosphere and how we can use that information to improve our situational awareness on the battlefield,” Group Captain Bearman said.
SA Premier Steven Marshall put a positive spin on today’s event.
“With innovation like this, there are often lots of steps which are taken. There will be another attempt for a launch again,” he said.
“This will be the first commercial space company rocket launch in Australia ever.
“All of the previous launches have been government launches, so it is a historic time and I think this is really a taste of what’s to come in Australia.”