Australia wants rocket launch site

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A site in South Australia is being proposed as the nation’s commercial rocket launch centre. The Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex would be capable of launching small to medium sized rockets and their satellites.

Southern Launch, which is backing the project, is aiming for the Complex “to get off the ground in 2020”.

Southern Launch announced in December it had found a site at Whalers Way on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula for its launch pad, just days before the new Australian Space Agency declared it would establish headquarters in the state’s capital Adelaide, according to local reports.

Australia already has a very long-established launch site at Woomera but that is restricted to military uses.

Southern Launch founder and CEO Lloyd Damp said the major project declaration was a fantastic step forward and would allow more information to be released and public consultation to begin. He said major project status was usually reserved for huge infrastructure projects that ran into the billions of dollars.

“Our project is a fraction of that size but the potential benefit to the South Australian economy is of great importance to the state,” Damp said. “The creation of something like a launch facility operates as a centre of gravity that starts to bring to the region other space related business.”


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