Fire Across the Desert: The Story of the Woomera Rocket Range

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Jul 9, 2007
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Melbourne Australia
Corresponding today with the 50th anniversary of Australia putting having a satellite in orbit (29th November 1967), the book "Fire Across the Desert" has been released in electronic formats

I have just finished reading (last night coincidentally :)) this book in its paper form. It is a big read as it is a serious historical document. Well written, but definitely not a book for the coffee table where you just look at the pretty pictures.

It is an interesting read, covering the setup of the range, data acquisition and processing, and details of the projects tested there.

If you are interested in the history of Woomera before it was actually anything to look at, here is the book for you. "Still in the Bush" by Len Beadell.
You can find these for purchase online if you are interested. A very entertaining read by one of the last real explorers.

"Laden with trig poles, theodolites - and porridge - Len Beadell and his team built roads, laid out town sites and undertook an enormous survey programme in order to prepare a test launching area in one of the most isolated parts of the world.

The problems ranged from taking astro-fixes in a cloudy sky and becoming surrounded by a sea of red mud, to patching a bald spot on a pet joey.

All were solved by using those two most necessary ingredients of life in the bush - ingenuity and imagination. Len's descriptions of the countryside, the adventures the team experienced, and the Australian bush characters they encountered are by turns illuminating and hilarious.

His high-spirited account of the work that had to be done "before they called it Woomera" makes vivid and entertaining reading."

Share and Enjoy!
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UTC SEDS 2017 3rd/ SEDS 2018 1st
Sep 22, 2017
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Huh? How the... $3,056 for a book? WHAT??? It better have missile blueprints with wind tunnel plots for that kind of coin. With the actual performance data not blacked out by sharpie.