The SA government has granted Southern Launch, an outfit looking to run Australia's first commercial spaceport next year, major project status.
The company is now allowed to undertake a comprehensive assessment and submit a formal development application.
Southern Launch will send satellites into sun-synchronous and polar orbit from Whaler's Way, at the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula south of Port Lincoln.
One of the SA companies hoping to use the launch site is DEWC Systems, which is working with Southern Launch to deliver the first fully Australian designed, developed, launched and operated Defence satellite system - the Miniaturised Orbital Electronic Warfare Sensor System (MOESS) project.
The MOESS project aims to provide a space based Electronic Warfare (EW) capability.
"We expect Whalers Way to become operational by the end of 2020," Lloyd Damp, CEO Southern Launch, said to ADM. "This timeline will work well for our planned operations with DEWC, and provide us with sufficient time to select the most appropriate launch vehicle to enable the first on-orbit MOESS demonstration."
DEWC Systems is expecting to undertake in-space testing in 2022.
"At this stage we anticipate being ready to prepare for space vehicle integration in 2021 with a view to be preparing for launch from mid 2022," Ian Spencer, CEO DEWC Systems, said to ADM.
The MOESS satellites will enter polar Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) and provide worldwide coverage at a fraction of the cost of other launch sites.