Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA), the developer, owner, and operator of the Arnhem Space Center (ASC) on the Gove Peninsula in Australia’s Northern Territory announced today that its client, NASA, will make its first commercial space launch in Australia will make June 2022.
The landmark launch is also NASA’s first launch from a fully commercial spaceport. It will be one of three rocket launches, the others scheduled for July 4 and 12, to conduct astrophysical studies that can only be done from the Southern Hemisphere.
The Arnhem Space Center is the world’s only commercially owned and operated commercial equatorial launch site. Located 12 degrees south of the equator on the Gulf of Carpentaria, it offers unique advantages for space launches. ASC is also unique because most spaceports are federally/government-owned and operated facilities.
Michael Jones, ELA Executive Chairman and Group CEO, said that while these historic NASA launches were a huge milestone for ELA, the company was already looking to the future after the milestone campaign.
“Having NASA as our first customer is not only a great endorsement of our spaceport, but it also puts us at the forefront of global commercial space and proves that through ELA and the ASC, Australia now has sovereign launch capability and access to space,” said Mr. Jones.
“It is a tremendous honor and reward for our company’s hard work in developing the ASC to have NASA launch these three missions with us.”
“This campaign is just the beginning for us as we are in commercial discussions with nine other major rocket companies. We hope to make at least two additional launches by 2022 before increasing our launch frequency to over 50 launches per year by 2024. / 25,” said Mr. Jones.
ELA and the Arnhem Space Center recently received their Launch Facilities License and Launch Permit for the NASA campaign following a two-year evaluation by the Australian Space Agency.
“The three NASA launches mark the end of the first phase of developing the ASC spaceport and ELA as a world-class launch services company. We will begin developing Phase 2 of the ASC, including the construction of larger launch pads for medium/larger payload rockets,” said Mr. Jones.
“The geographic location, proximity to the equator, and the extensive logistics services offered in the Gove/Nhulunbuy area make the ASC highly attractive to global rocket companies and enable us to provide a commercially attractive alternative to the equatorial launch site of the French government in Kourou in French Guiana,” continued Mr. Jones.
“The ASC offers Australian aerospace and international rocket and satellite companies a unique opportunity to launch from a location that provides cost-effective access to virtually any orbit they want,” said Mr. Jones.
“I would like to acknowledge the support from NASA and our employees and investors, including the Northern Territory Government, for their support and dedication. From the federal government. It is a remarkable achievement what we have done, and all the more so as we have had no support to date. We haven’t made any bold predictions in the past, we just went about our business quietly, and now we’re on the cusp of some incredible firsts in Australia’s space history,” said Mr. Jones.
Launch Mission – Background Information
Launching in the late evening of June 26, 2022, the BBIX rocket will travel more than 300km into space. The Rocket will carry an atmospheric observation/detection platform to observe the Alpha Centauri A & B constellations.
The first stage and the payload of the rockets return to Earth and are recovered. The missiles will be visible to the local community and surrounding areas just seconds after launch — about 150 meters into the sky before they leave Earth’s atmosphere.
For security reasons, getting a close look at the missile launch from the ASC is impossible.
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