Outback Lift-Off For New Aussie Space Company

Queensland’s bid to become the next big player in Australia’s push for a local space industry has taken a giant leap forward with a rocket carrying Australia’s first commercial payload launched in the Qld. outback.

The five-metre rocket, developed by Queensland-based BlackSky Aerospace, was successfully launched into the sky from a farm in the town of Tarawara, west of Goondiwindi, in the state’s outback border region. The rocket is the first in Australia to travel into the sky while carrying a number of commercial products, including sensors, for testing under pressure.

Cameron Dick and BlackSky's Blake Nikolic with the rocket

IMAGECameron Dick (L) and BlackSky’s Blake Nikolic ahead of the rocket launch.(ABC News: Allyson Horn)

Queensland Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick pushed the launch button and said it showed the possibilities for developing a space industry in the state. “This Sighter190 research rocket is the first in Australia to catapult a commercial payload to about the same height as Everest, and that’s happening right here in our own backyard in Queensland,” he said.

“We want to promote Queensland’s capabilities to national and international space industry markets and today’s test at what is Australia’s only commercial sub-orbital launch site is a substantial step forward in achieving they aim.”

Image result for youtube, outback rocket launch

The rocket rose more than 5,100 metres into the air before landing about two kilometres away from the launch site. BlackSky’s Blake Nikolic said the successful launch opened opportunities for space development in the future. “With a global market worth $US360 billion seeing exponential growth, Australia will naturally benefit,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Queensland Government launched an inquiry into how the state could become the home of research, design and manufacturing for the nation’s future space needs. The Government has also met with leaders from the newly formed Australian Space Agency to spruik the state’s potential as its future home.

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