When is failure NOT a failure

Jan 10, 2023

Safe to say that the ending to last night (9th January) was not the one we all hoped for and expected. It may be a cliche, but we really do learn more from failure than we do success.

The UK, and Europe’s, first rocket launch was not a total home run last night due to “an anomaly” in the second stage of the rocket launch. But look at all of the massive successes that led up to it.

The county has struggled with its identity for a number of years now. Whilst we know that the lifestyle in Cornwall is fantastic, the pastry and carbohydrate loaded food is phenomenal and access to beaches and wide open countryside is unparalleled – there is a very real and thriving tech industry that pushes for and achieves real change in Agri-tech, Health-tech and AI to name just a few. All too often it is looked over and its contributions minimised in favour of the louder and easier to access counties and cities “in the North”.

With over 1000 people of all ages on the night and media representatives from The Guardian, BBC, Microsoft, Blue Peter, The One Show and many more. Cornwall entered prime time television, and maybe even the very edge of pop culture, just by being THE place to watch for one very special evening.

We know that rockets struggle to take off, there have been both tragic and embarrassing examples of this happening in the distant and recent past. But last night was neither one of those. It sits just under total success, in an area I suggest we call “We’ll get it next time”.

The aircraft launch was a total success – from a windy, rainy, pitch-black Newquay Airport that some commercial flights might struggle to succeed taking off from, Cosmic Girl took off with the Launcher One rocket to a thunderous applause and a rapturous audience. The first stage of launching the rocket was also a success. There was just the, as-yet, unknown problem with the second stage of the rocket launch. Everything leading up to it, was an unqualified success.

So, whilst today is still a little disappointing, let’s remember all of the fantastic things that were accomplished last night and keep boldly going where we have never gone before. For someone that’s from the other side of the bridge, I was proud to be a little bit Cornish last night.