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Multiple rocket launches set for Arnhem Space Centre

Manufacturing News

The Arnhem Space Centre (ASC) in the Northern Territory will see a series of orbital space launches following the signing of a multi-year agreement between space facility operator Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) and Korean aerospace company INNOSPACE.

The agreement will see the launch of several INNOSPACE rocket variants each carrying between 50kg and 500kg payloads into low earth orbit from the ASC over five years from early 2025.

INNOSPACE is the only hybrid-fuelled rocket company to have successfully launched into space and will become the first commercial ‘resident launcher’ at the Gove Peninsula site.

ELA has been working with the Australian Space Agency (ASA) to expand its existing Launch Facilities Licence (LFL) to support orbital launches with a range of orbital rockets, differing azimuths and trajectories and propellant mixes and rocket configurations.

ELA will also assist INNOSPACE to obtain its first Australian Launch Permit (ALP), an approval process expected to take between six and 14 months.

INNOSPACE will be allocated a Space Launch Complex (SLC) comprising two modern ASC launch pads (pictured) and an extensive Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) which allows for rocket assembly and payload integration in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

Executive Chairman and Group CEO of ELA Michael Jones said the contract with INNOSPACE was a major milestone for ELA.

Jones said: “INNOSPACE is a truly innovative company with outstanding technology and is one of the leaders in the emerging market of smaller launch providers.

“INNOSPACE is one of the first of the next batch of ‘new space’ rocket companies to launch and with increasing congestion at major spaceports globally, INNOSPACE has recognised the unique launch/geographic, infrastructure and commercial benefits of launching from the ASC.”

INNOSPACE was previously contracted to use NASA facilities. Its HANBIT family of launch vehicles – HANBIT-Nano, HANBIT-Micro and HANBIT-Mini – use a unique hybrid propulsion technology with a paraffin and liquid oxygen propellant combination.

Jones said: “This contract demonstrates the potential for the ASC to deliver on our goal of being the pre-eminent commercial launch site globally.”

Last year NASA made three successful launches from the Arnhem Space Centre.

CEO of INNOSPACE Soojong Kim said: “Our goal is to offer customers greater flexibility for their launch schedule and orbit access with frequent dedicated launch opportunities.

“We expect to enable our satellite customers to achieve significant innovation with our orbital launch services by launching from the ASC.”

Further reading:
Second NASA rocket launch from Arnhem Land
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Equitorial Launch Australia here.

Picture: Arnhem Space Centre’s Advanced Standard Launch Pad configuration

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