Southern Launch teams up with UK’s Space Forge


Australian space launch provider Southern Launch has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UK based Space Forge to explore possibilities returning satellites to Earth at Southern Launch’s Koonibba Test Range in outback South Australia.

Space Forge is offering an in-space manufacturing and research service incorporating both launch and return of a new small class of vehicle – the ForgeStar – that can be deployed from conventional launchers.

Space Forge will launch their ForgeStar-1A satellite later this year, where they will prove their re-entry capabilities.

CEO and Co-Founder of Space Forge Joshua Western said: “The size and location of the Koonibba Test Range as a Southern Hemisphere re-entry point for our ForgeStar satellite make it an ideal option for our business model.”

At over 10,000 square kilometres the Koonibba Test Range is one of the world’s largest commercial rocket testing facilities for sun-synchronous orbital vehicles.

Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said “Space Forge will be looking to refurbish and launch their satellites as close as possible to the re-entry point.

“Our Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex is the natural solution for a launch site, and we will be exploring this option with Space Forge throughout the MoU process.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the global Space Symposium held in Colorado Springs and was witnessed by the head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo and Rebecca Evernden, Director of Space for the UK Government.

Palermo said: “Importantly, Space Forge is looking to not just launch from Australia but also to bring economic benefit, payload refurbishment, job opportunities and cutting edge space technologies to our shores.”

Image: Southern Launch/L-R Rebecca Evernden, Director of Space, UK Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Joshua Western, CEO and Co-Founder, Space Forge, Lloyd Damp, CEO, Southern Launch, Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency

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