NASA will launch three rockets for scientific study from northern Australia in the coming weeks, officials announced on Wednesday, marking the first time the space agency would launch rockets from a commercial site outside the US.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Wednesday that the Australian government has given regulatory authority for rockets to be launched from Equatorial Launch Australia’s (ELA) Arnhem Space Centre.
During a press conference in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital, Albanese said, “This is a tremendously exciting project.” “It should be a source of pride for all Australians that NASA is actively participating here.”
The NASA missions will look into heliophysics, astrophysics, and planetary science phenomena that can only be seen from the south. The first rocket is scheduled to launch on June 26, with the others following on July 4 and 12.
According to the prime minister, some 75 NASA personnel will be present for the event. The launches will be the first by the United States space agency since 1995.
After a two-year study, the Australian Space Agency recently granted the Arnhem Space Centre a launch facilities licence and launch permission for the NASA campaign.
The Northern Territory government has been supportive of the project since the beginning, investing A$5 million ($3.6 million) in ELA to help create the Arnhem Space Centre, according to the business.
“This is a watershed moment for the Top End,” said Natasha Fyle, the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, referring to the territory’s northern region. According to the statement, “NASA is growing capacity and catapulting (the region) into the global spotlight for investors.”