Singaporean rockets set for Arnhem space port launch


Spaceport operator and launch technology infrastructure company, Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singaporean rocket company Equatorial Space Systems (ESS) to launch Dorado suborbital rockets at the Arnhem Space Centre.

ESS has plans for rockets including orbital rockets and the MOU paves the way for a comprehensive Spaceport Services Agreement which could see ESS launching its Volans rocket featuring up to 500kg payload capacity.

The Dorado launches are planned from the end of this year and will carry science experiments and technology demonstrator payloads.

Initially ESS will leverage the same launch pad used by NASA in 2022 when ELA conducted three successful suborbital launches with the US space organisation – the first successful commercial launches for Australia and the first commercial launches for NASA outside of the US.

The Executive Chairman and Group CEO of ELA Michael Jones said: “ESS is a rapidly emerging Singaporean rocket company with impressive launch vehicle solutions, and we are looking forward to working with them on their technology demonstrator missions and to service their payload customers.

“Our companies have more than just our names in common, we have a common vision for pushing the boundaries of space technology and space infrastructure.”

Equitorial Space CEO Simon Gwozdz said the Arnhem Space Centre was growing in popularity.

Jones said: “We have a cost-effective solution for both small and larger rockets, we have facilities for assembly, integration and test of both engines, sub-systems and the entire rocket.

“The other obvious advantage is our remoteness – this makes recovery and operations for sub-orbital launch and testing easier.”

The MOU with ESS follows the announcement in August 2023 of a multi-year, multi-launch deal with Korean rocket company Innospace for 12 orbital launches due to commence in 2025.

In addition, another four Asian rocket companies have indicated their interest in launches from the site and have made visits to the ASC to inspect the spaceport.

The company recently released completed Spaceport of the Future designs for its Space Launch Complexes comprised of a state-of-the-art Horizontal Integration Facility building and ASCALP launch pad designs.

Further reading:
Second NASA rocket launch from Arnhem Land
Multiple rocket launches set for Arnhem Space Centre
ELA shares designs for upcoming HIF buildings at Arnhem spaceport

Picture: Equatorial Launch Australia

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