Official approval given for SA space launch site

By on 21 July, 2021

Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Launch Pad 1 under construction. Courtesy Southern Launch.

Southern Launch has received formal approval from the Australian Space Agency to conduct operations at its launch complex at Whalers Way on the tip of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

The company plans to offer launches for small satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits, injected onto southern trajectories across the Great Australian Bight.

Construction of Pad 1 has begun, with the company expecting to conduct the first of up to three approved sub-orbital test launches from the site in the coming months.

“This is a momentous occasion for our team, to have been granted Australia’s first fixed space launch facility license, enabling Southern Launch to host rocket launches into space from Australian shores,” said Southern Launch CEO, Lloyd Damp.

“Our team is now on track to commence the testing of three rocket launches from Whalers Way before the end of 2021. These tests signify a very real opportunity for Australia becoming once again a space faring nation.”

“Momentum in Australia’s civil space sector is growing every day, signalled by increasing private investment and associated job creation,” said the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo.

“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.”

The launch pad was designed by Southern Launch with construction being carried about by local Port Lincoln company, Owen Construct and Design.

The launch site approval follows the company’s successful application for Australia’s first launch facility licence, granted to Southern Launch in March 2021 for its test range in Koonibba.

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