• Unsplash (Matteo Fusco)
    Unsplash (Matteo Fusco)

Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) has signed an agreement with TriSept, a US based company with 25 years experience working on space launch initiatives with NASA.

The agreement will see ELA’s Arnhem Space Centre in Northern Australia function as the centrepiece of the agreement.
“The growing site offering stability in terms of favourable weather, politics, and trade relations,” ELA CEO Carley Scott said.

“Leveraging the extra rotational velocity imparted when launching near the equator is a focus of discussion for international spacecraft and satellite manufacturers who are looking for a launch site facilitating rapid, reliable and cost-effective access for LEO, GEO and deep space missions.”

Launches for customers are expected to commence from the Arnhem Space Centre from 2019, with increasingly complex missions being planned as the site continues to be developed in alignment with customer demand.

“The Arnhem Space Centre is being built by ELA in the north of Australia at a place where the earth’s rotational speed is 1635 km/h,” Scott explained. “Leveraging the earth’s speed, a launch vehicle can carry more payload to space than if launched at other sites at higher latitudes, resulting in a more efficient launch for customers. It means more and more international customers are interested to know how they could access the ELA site in the NT.”

The Arnhem Space Centre project will include multiple launch sites using a variety of launch vehicles to provide sub-orbital and orbital access to space for commercial, research and government organisations. It will include the provision of critical infrastructure and support to domestic industry, defence and academia. The company also announced this month that they have received approval for a 40-year lease of the launch site in the NT.

CEO of TriSept, Rob Spicer, will formally announce the agreement at the upcoming SmallSat Symposium in February 2019 in Texas.

“The Arnhem Space Centre provides small satellite operators with an opportunity to get the most out of their missions and TriSept is the only launch service provider that currently has access to booking and delivering services from this new and exciting site,” Spicer said.

“We now look forward to speaking with customers at the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View and discussing how we can provide access to this site, and the benefits it can deliver missions being planned from 2019 and beyond.

“This is the same site that has been referenced in two NASA Sounding Rocket Annual Reports with good reason. The offer of an equatorial site in Australia really opens a lot of opportunity for a range of satellite missions, and we’re looking forward to supporting more of these going forward.”

ELA founder Scott Wallis will be speaking at ADM’s inaugural Space Summit on April 30.

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