ELA’s first NASA launch is a success

By on 27 June, 2022

Equatorial Launch Australia’s Arnhem Space Centre on the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory.

Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) today successfully completed Australia’s first commercial space launch with NASA.

The historic launch was NASA’s first from a fully commercial spaceport and is the first of three planned launches, with the other two scheduled for 4 and 12 July.

The aim of the missions is to conduct astrophysical studies that can only be done from the Southern Hemisphere.

ELA is the developer, owner and operator of the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) on the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory.

Michael Jones, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of ELA, said it was a historic night for ELA as it celebrated the first of many successful launches to happen at the Arnhem Space Centre.

The NASA BBIX sounding rocket used for the mission.

“We are delighted to announce the successful completion of our first commercial space launch with our customer, NASA,” said Jones.

“In the lead up to the launch, I was consistently asked if I was excited. I can officially now say, I’m excited. I’m excited both about the success of our launch but also for the future of ELA and the Australian space industry.

Jones added that “We could never have dreamed of having such a supportive, experienced and professional partner as NASA. They have been unbelievably generous in helping us through this journey and we will be a much better organisation for their support.

“Today’s launch not only puts ELA at the forefront of global commercial space launch, it also confirms that we and Australia can provide access to space and this is just the beginning for us.

Today’s launch took place at 12:30am (AEST) and saw a BBIX rocket travel over 300 kms in space, carrying an atmospheric observation/sensing platform to observe the stars Alpha Centauri A and B.

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