26 September 2023

Southern space facility all go for launch

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The Australian Space Agency has granted the country’s second launch facility licence, for Southern Launch’s facility in Whalers Way, 680km west of Adelaide, South Australia.

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo said the licence would enable Southern Launch to establish the suborbital rocket testing facility, with the potential to host much larger orbital rocket launches in future.

“Momentum in Australia’s civil space sector is growing every day, signalled by increasing private investment and associated job creation,” Mr Palermo said.

“This approval provides the emerging launch sector with the confidence of the Australian Space Agency’s intention to grow Australia’s launch capability and infrastructure, in alignment with our civil space strategy,” he said.

Mr Palermo said the Whalers Way site would initially support a test-launch campaign for up to three suborbital rockets.

The Head of the Agency said data would be collected during those launches to measure environmental impacts to assist in determining the site’s viability as a possible launch location for future suborbital and orbital launches.

“The granting of the Whalers Way launch site follows Australia’s first launch facility licence, granted to Southern Launch in March 2021 for their Test Range in Koonibba,” Mr Palermo said.

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