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Taiwan to Launch a Rocket from Australia

Brittany Jordan

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Australian company Southern Launch will send a Taiwanese rocket into space in Australia’s first major launch since the 1960s.

Taiwanese company tiSPACE will launch its Hapith I—a ten meter rocket—from Southern Launch’s complex, 680km west of Adelaide later this year.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter, announced the launch approval on Aug. 23, saying it marked a significant milestone for the local industry.

“This is an important outcome in establishing Australia’s commercial launch capability and demonstrating what our country can offer to the international space sector,” Porter said.

“Space is a significant global growth market that will support Australia’s economic future through big investment, new technologies, and job growth across multiple industries.”

After Taiwan’s unsuccessful launch at a site in Taitung County on Feb. 13 last year due to unsuitable weather, the island state decided to launch its commercial rocket from wholly Australian-owned company Southern Launch.

International Space Station backdropped by the ocean between Antarctica and Australia, Jun. 3, 2013. (NASA)

Chief executive Lloyd Damp said the company was delighted to work with the Taiwanese company.

“Southern Launch is pleased to be partnering with TiSPACE to conduct the first test launch at our Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex on the Eyre Peninsula,” Damp told InnovationAus.

“This is an exciting development on our journey to establish the first site in Australia capable of launching commercial satellites into orbit, enabling South Australia to start capturing part of the $5.5 billion global space launch market.”

Southern Launch’s regulatory lead Scott Schneider said that beyond launching rockets, space services also play a major role in everyday life.

“Without space services, there is no Google Maps, no broadband internet, and no effective way to monitor the environment or manage emergencies like floods and bushfires,” Schneider said.

Local launches allow Australia to invite international space businesses to create jobs and boost the Australian space industry.

“With domestic launch sites for commercial use, no more will Australia send money and give away jobs to the launch industries of New Zealand, the United States, Europe or India,” Schneider said.

Jessie Zhang

Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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