Bob Brown recalls the launch of the Blue Streak, 2006

Transcript of interview

There was a great deal of excitement around the town because the Blue Streak was about to be launched from a launch pad that was adjacent to the township, and the people that were running the program actually developed a viewing area for townspeople to go along. And I can recall sitting with my family and hundreds of other families in the viewing area, looking across the desert to the west of us, where you could see the Blue Streak rocket sitting on its launch pad. It was all very exciting. People were looking at it through binoculars and through telescopes and there was a picnic atmosphere, and there was quite a bit of build-up to it. There was commentary coming across a public address system set up in the car park. And as it grew towards launch time they commenced the count, it went something like this: 'Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two … Stop! Stop! Stop!' And nothing happened, so you can imagine the disappointment. We waited for a while, and then some commentary came across the PA system that there was some kind of technical fault. Anyway, everybody in the viewing area, very disappointed, packed up, went home. And it was several days later, in the school ground of the Woomera Primary and High School that we were playing football out on the football oval … I think it was at lunchtime … and we heard this huge boom sound and a distinct crackling sound and looked up into the western sky and we saw the Blue Streak, streaking as it were, towards the north west, in a clear blue sky. The boom was obviously as it was breaking the sound barrier. The crackling was the very distinct noise of the jet engines. Although it was 20 kilometres away, it was a very powerful sound. And we watched the flame from the back of the rocket and the trail that created as it disappeared over the horizon.