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Australia Prepares for First Commercial Space Launch With Help of ELA and NASA

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Article Summary
  • ELA and NASA are working together for Australia’s first commercial space launch.
  • There will be three launch payloads in total.
  • Launches are set to happen on June 26, July 4, and July 12.

Australia is gearing up to join the space race with the help of Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) and its client, NASA. While a lot of countries are still gearing up for space, Australia’s launch is happening this month.

The space race isn’t necessary just who’s the first but also who’s involved. Aside from the United States, China and India have also launched space projects of their own.

With a lot of movement toward spaceflight not just in the government sectors but also in private sectors like SpaceX, the world is evolving and now ever so supportive of spaceflight as a whole. Australia will be the newest member of the crew especially since this will be the first commercial space launch for the country.

Original Launch Schedule was in 2020 but was Delayed Due to the Pandemic

With the help of NASA, Australia is preparing for its first-ever space launch on June 26, 2022. The original plan was that the rockets would launch back in 2020 but due to the pandemic, the launch had to be delayed.

ELA is the developer, owner, and operator of the Arnhem Space Center located in the Northern Territory of Australia, Gove Peninsula. Anthony Albanese, the newly elected PM, made the announcement regarding the launch in his visit to Darwin.

In a press conference, the PM stated that “it’s terrific to be here in Darwin today to declare Equatorial Launch Australia and NASA [are a] go for launch right here in the Northern Territory.”

The launch is no small feat since this will be the first time that NASA launches from a fully commercial spaceport. The launch will include three rocket launches in order to carry out different astrophysics studies only possible in the Southern Hemisphere.

ELA Welcomes 70 NASA Employees for Support

The Arnhem Space Center is considered the world’s very own multi-user commercial equatorial launch site. It is located in the Gulf of Carpentaria and gives a lot of unique advantages when it comes to space launches.

There will be three launches in total with the first on June 26, the second on July 4, and the third on July 12. ELA is preparing to welcome over 70 NASA employees that are coming from the Wallops Flight Facility in order to support the first upcoming commercial space launch in Australia. Here are the three launches:

  • June 26 – launch will carry the X-ray quantum calorimeter (XQC)
  • July 4 – launch is SISTINE or the Suborbital Imaging Spectrograph for the Transition Region Irradiance of Nearby Exoplanet Host Stars
  • July 12 – launch is DEUCE or Dual-Channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Experiment

As noted, there will be no close proximity viewing of the rocket launching from the ASC due to safety reasons. There might, however, be broadcasts of the launch but none too close to the rocket.


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