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Southern Launch welcomes Australia-US space agreement

Manufacturing News

Space facilities owner Southern Launch has welcomed the signing of a Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) between Australia and the US which will allow for the transfer of US space technology, including rockets and satellites, between the two countries.

Southern Launch CEO, Lloyd Damp said: “The TSA is a game-changer for Southern Launch.

“The US space industry has been leading the space race for generations and this agreement will allow us to work closely with US space companies to facilitate launches or returns from our Australian sites.”

Southern Launch operates two launch sites – the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex and the Koonibba Test Range, both in South Australia.

Southern Launch recently announced a partnership with US-based Varda Space Industries to facilitate the return of their in-space manufacturing capsule to the Koonibba Test Range in 2024.

“The TSA makes this process easier and opens the door for us to relaunch these capsules into orbit from our Whalers Way Orbital Launch Facility on a rocket manufactured by a US company.

“…This agreement will accelerate the development of the Australian space industry.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President Joe Biden signed the TSA during Albanese’s first official state visit to the US. The agreement must still be ratified by the Australian parliament.

The two governments outlined the importance of the TSA in a statement: “On October 26, the United States and Australia intend to sign a Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) that provides the legal and technical framework for U.S. commercial space launch vehicles to launch from Australia in a manner that: protects sensitive U.S. launch technology and data in Australia consistent with our shared non-proliferation goals; and creates the potential for new space-related commercial opportunities.”

Further reading:
Space manufactured drugs could touch down in SA

Picture: Southern Launch/Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex

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