Between June 26 and July 12, three rockets will take off from Arnhem Space Centre, a facility of commercial company Equatorial Launch Australia located in the Northern Territory, Australia’s northern administrative region. This is the first launch from a commercial launch facility outside the United States in the US agency’s history. It will also be NASA’s first rocket launch from Australia since 1995.
The rockets will be used to study heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science phenomena. “Thanks to the launches, we will be able to study how the light of a star can affect the habitability of a planet, among other things”, explains one to NASA. About 75 US employees will travel to Australia for the launches. The indigenous Gumatj people, traditional owners of the land, were consulted about the launches.
For Australian Prime Minister Albanese, who spoke in The Sydney Morning Herald, these launches herald a “new era” in the Australian space industry.