Australia's new era of space exploration started with a whimper rather than a bang on Tuesday as a misfire meant the rocket never got going.
Southern Launch's first rocket test from the Koonibba Test Range in South Australia's far west did not go as planned, but the company says it will try again.
The initial launch time of noon was pushed back by more than 90 minutes and when the countdown was finally started, the big crowd gathered at the viewing area waited in anticipation.
What they got was a misfire which meant the rocket never left the ground.
Southern Launch is hoping to be back on the site on Wednesday for a second attempt with another launch set for Saturday.
Southern Launch chief executive officer Lloyd Damp said the rocket motor was sparked into action, but the propellant failed to ignite.
Aware there might be a glitch, the team is not downhearted.
"This is one of the things we have been practicing in the past few days and all of our processes worked perfectly," he said.
"We will unpack the rocket, work out what went wrong and we might be back as early as tomorrow to try again.
"Space is hard, and this is an unfortunate outcome, but we have learned so much from it and we thank all of Australia who has come along with us for this ride."
The rocket launch had been developed by Southern Launch, who worked closely with DEWC Systems.
The rocket payload is a hi-tech electronic warfare prototype that can detect radar signals, with the launch allowing DEWC to conduct frequency sensing tests.
Members of the Koonibba community were joined by enthusiasts from Ceduna and beyond at the viewing area, while South Australian Premier Steven Marshall was also there.
Mr Marshall said that despite the hiccup, he was excited for what can come out of the Koonibba tests and called it a "historic day".
"We are pretty excited with the buzz in and around the Koonibba Aboriginal community, the school students are excited and people have come from a long way away to be part of what is going to be a great sector for Australia," he said.
"We know the federal government plans to grow the sector to $12 billion by 2030 and create an additional 20,000 jobs and South Australia is in a really good position to benefit from those jobs.
"It is fantastic to see so many school students here today as we get ready to go back to space.
"With innovation like this there are often lots of steps which are taken, and there will be another attempt on Saturday - this will be the first commercial space-capable rocket launch in Australia. All previous launches have been government launches and it is an historic time and a taste of what is to come."
The excitement was felt in the Koonibba community, despite the initial setback, with Koonibba Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Kevina Ware calling it the "start of something big".
"This has been two years in the making and the community has been ecstatic and waiting for this day," she said.
"It is a momentous occasion for our community with people working in the area.
"This will create employment opportunities and it is good to see Indigenous people in the spotlight for great things instead of negative."
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