Southern Launch receives approval for Whalers Way

By on 21 June, 2021

One of Southern Launch’s sub-orbital launches from the Koonibba Test Range in September 2020. Courtesy Southern Launch.

Australian space launch company Southern Launch has received approval for construction of infrastructure to support a test launch campaign at Whalers Way, at the tip of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The company’s development application has been approved by the State Commission Assessment Panel, and includes construction of a temporary rocket launch pad on already cleared land.

The launch test campaign will gather data to validate and calibrate computation noise and vibration modelling specific to the site.

The approved development application specifies that:

  • A maximum of three test launches will be conducted
  • The infrastructure will not result in permanent change in the land use or any permanent structures on the site
  • The launch pad must be built on an already cleared area and will not result in any native vegetation removal

The Whalers Way site would enable easy access to geosynchronous and polar orbits via a southern launch trajectory.

“This is a huge milestone for Australia as we once again become a sovereign space faring nation,” said Southern Launch CEO, Lloyd Damp.

“Southern Launch has spent the past eight months working closely with government and independent agencies.

“With construction approvals in hand, the whole Southern Launch team are overjoyed and is excited about the future of launch in Australia. We look forward to breaking ground shortly.”

Southern Launch is still in the process of obtaining regulatory approval from the Australian Space Agency, so a date for the first launch has not yet been set.

The company already operates the Koonibba Test Range, from which its first sub-orbital launches took place in September last year.

“The Southern Launch team are very grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the Port Lincoln and Lower Eyre Peninsula communities,” added Damp.

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