3 mins read 20 Jul 2021

Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Complex Launch Licence Approved

Pad 1 at Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex has been approved by the Australian Space Agency.

First look at the Whalers Way Launch Complex. Credit: Southern Launch.

Southern Launch has announced that their Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex has been approved by the Australian Space Agency for a Launch Facility Licence. The Complex’s launch licence was signed by Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Mr Christian Porter after the licence was processed by the Australian Space Agency. Obtaining this licence has brought Australia one step closer to hosting satellite launches into polar and sun-synchronous orbits. 

Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said, “This is a momentous occasion for our team, to have been granted Australia’s first fixed space launch facility license, enabling Southern Launch to host rocket launches into space from Australian shores.”

“Our team is now on track to commence the testing of three rocket launches from Whalers Way before the end of 2021. These tests signify a very real opportunity for Australia – becoming once again a space-faring nation.” 

The Whalers Way Complex is set to transform Port Lincoln and South Australia into a vibrant space hub and will attract space industry-related jobs and growth to the region. 

Launching South from Whalers Way

Map showing location of the Whalers Way Launch Orbital Complex. Credit: Southern Launch.

The Launch Complex, located at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, will host satellite launches to support the growing Internet of Things (IoT), Earth Observations (EO) and space communications industries. Construction on Pad 1 of the Launch Complex has already begun and will allow rockets to launch safely over the Great Australian Bight. 

The launchpad was designed by Southern Launch and the construction was awarded to local Port Lincoln company, Owen Construct and Design. The first of up to three test launches from the Whalers Way Complex is scheduled in the coming months. 

The Progress Southern Launch is Making

Drone image of the launch from Koonibba Test Range by Southern Launch last year. Credit: Southern Launch.

Southern Launch is an Adelaide-based company that focuses on providing launch services, launch sites, and rocket subsystems to its customers. As well as developing the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex, Southern Launch is also developing the Koonibba Test Range near Ceduna, the southern hemisphere’s largest overland suborbital rocket testing facility. The Range was granted Australia’s first-ever Launch Facility Licence earlier this year. End of last year, the company also announced a collaboration with German Space Agency DLR to test and develop reusable rocket technology. The three test rockets to be launched from Whalers Way by the end of this year will gather data on how the launches impact the environment by measuring their propagated noise and vibrations.