NASA Launch: Australia Joins the Commercial Space Race

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Arnhem Space Centre. Source Equatorial Launch Australia, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject

Essay by Eric Worrall

Australia’s first ever commercial space launch, from our near Equatorial Arnhem Space Centre, will occur 10.44pm ACST (06:14am Sunday California Time).

NASA to launch rocket from Arnhem Land tonight

By Emily McPherson • Senior Journalist 8:17am Jun 26, 2022

History is in the making with American space agency NASA set to launch a rocket into the skies above east Arnhem Land tonight.

It is the first time since 1995 that a rocket will take off from Australian soil and the first time for NASA launching a commercial rocket.

NASA’s rocket will take off from the red dirt at the Arnhem Space Centre outside Nhulunbuy about 10.44pm local time tonight.

The space centre is privately owned and operated by Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA).

Read more (includes video):

Details about how to watch a live stream are available here. The payload will be atmospheric sensors, according to the press release.

The lack of development of Australia’s space facilities is a continued source of puzzlement to me.

Australia’s political stability, skilled workforce, resources and availability of vast, inexpensive tracts of advantageous near equatorial mainland launch locations, 12° South in this case, should have made Australia a Mecca for commercial space launch. Yet the last Aussie orbital launch of any description was in 1995.

Hopefully Equatorial Space Launch will fix all that.

via Watts Up With That?

June 26, 2022