Two sub-orbital rockets will be launched from South Australia following federal government approval for the missions.
Rocket manufacturer ATSpace and spaceport provider Southern Launch will launch the Kestrel I rockets from the Whalers Way complex on Eyre Peninsula in coming months.
The VS02 and VS03 missions will fly the experimental rockets along sub-orbital trajectories to test their design under different operating conditions.
On the ground, the collection of rocket noise data during lift-off will also contribute valuable knowledge for the future operation of the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.
Southern Launch chief executive Lloyd Damp said the missions would provide significant data to be used to inform best practice during future launch campaigns and the development of South Australia’s space industry.
“Southern Launch is committed to advancing a sustainable local space launch industry in Australia,” he said.
“This industry will create new high-paying, skilled jobs for regional and rural Australians and in doing so, will advance Australia’s science and technology capabilities.”
ATSpace chief executive Yen-Sen Chen said the missions would demonstrate the technical performance of the Kestrel I systems, paving the way for the company to become a leading player in Australia’s emerging space industry.
“These two sub-orbital launches will provide us with valuable data to validate our future Kestrel V orbital design,” he said.
“They are the gateway to ATSpace’s growth and future investment in Australia and jobs for Australians.”
“Launching into space is a challenging task for any launch vehicle company. It’s only possible to attain the technical maturity through well-planned test launches.
“VS02 and VS03 are part of the equation for us to reach that status.”