The Australian Space Agency has granted Australia’s second launch facility licence, for Southern Launch’s facility in Whalers Way, 680km west of Adelaide. This licence will enable Southern Launch to establish a planned sub-orbital rocket testing facility, with the potential to host much larger orbital rocket launches in future.
Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said the approval of the Whalers Way launch facility licence is a strong signal of the nation’s maturing launch capability.
“Momentum in Australia’s civil space sector is growing every day, signalled by increasing private investment and associated job creation,” Mr Palermo said.
“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 Whalers Way site will initially support a test launch campaign for up to three suborbital rockets. Data will be collected during those launches to measure environmental impacts to assist in determining the site’s viability as a possible launch location for future suborbital and orbital launches.
The granting of the Whalers Way launch site follows Australia’s first launch facility licence, also granted to Southern Launch in March 2021 for its Test Range in Koonibba in country South Australia.