Ibadan, 24 October 2023 – Varda Space Industries and Southern Launch have announced a partnership to conduct re-entry operations at the Koonibba Test Range, with the goal of making South Australia a hub for an in-space manufacturing industry. As a result, Southern Launch will support Varda Space Industries in conducting high-cadence re-entry operations at the Koonibba Test Range to meet a wide range of Varda’s customer needs.
Speaking on the partnership, Southern Launch Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Damp commented, “In-space manufacturing is the next evolution of humanity’s industrial capacity, and elements produced in orbit have the potential to change the course of history. We are excited to partner with Varda Space Industries to bring this emerging industry to Australia through the Koonibba Test Range.”
The Koonibba Test Range, which Southern Launch operates in partnership with the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation, offers over 23,000 square kilometers of uninhabited land to accept the re-entry of in-space manufacturing capsules. As a result, Varda Space Industries will use the range to conduct a re-entry operation as soon as its second orbital mission, scheduled for mid-2024.
Varda Space Industries Chief Executive Officer Will Bruey also commented, “Our partnership with the Koonibba Test Range is a great example of the ongoing collaboration between the United States and Australia within aerospace and defense. In the future, you will know this partnership has been successful when you look up at the sky above South Australia to see our spacecraft create a shooting star before landing softly on the desert floor.”
The American space research Company is looking to develop life-saving pharmaceuticals in space and return the goods to Earth using their specialized return capsule.