Contracts let for spaceport launch rail

Two South Australian companies have been awarded a contract to build and supply a mobile launch rail for Australian spaceport and space mission provider Southern Launch.

Ferretti International and Hydroil have been awarded contracts to build the mobile launch rail which is funded by an almost $1 million dollar grant awarded to Southern Launch as a part of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Grant program.

The project will contribute to over 10 local manufacturing jobs in South Australia.

Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said: “The construction of a mobile launch rail means that we can use the rail at both our Koonibba and Whalers Way launch complexes.

“This offers greater flexibility in the space launch locations available in South Australia and strengthens our position as the space state in Australia.”

Whalers Way is located on the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula, while Koonibba is in the west of the state near Ceduna.

Ferretti International employs over 100 people at two locations in Adelaide and Whyalla, South Australia. Traditionally a pipe fabrication and structural steel company, the construction of the mobile launch rail will be Ferretti’s first foray into the space sector.

Ferretti BDM Scott Searle said: “Being involved in the construction of space technology provides our staff with the opportunity to use their skills and expertise in different ways.

“Being involved in a project in a new and emerging industry such as space, in our home state, gives us the confidence to go after similar projects both here and internationally.’

The team at Hydroil will bring almost 60 years of experience in providing hydraulic solutions to the launch rail project.

Hydroil employs over 50 at two locations in Adelaide and Whyalla, and will design and provide a full hydraulic system that will be used to position launch vehicles ready to launch into space.

Southern Launch will also be awarding further contracts to local companies for the transport, assembly and other components associated with the launch rail project.

Picture: Southern Launch

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