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Koonibba Test Range Gets Set for Inaugural Launch

The Koonibba Test Range. Credit Southern Launch
The Koonibba Test Range. Credit Southern Launch

Ibadan, 28 March 2024. – The new launch facilities at the Koonibba Test Range, South Australia’s first permanent spaceport, are almost complete ahead of the impending inaugural launch. The range is a partnership between Southern Launch and the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation. Subject to final regulatory approval, the spaceport will witness its first suborbital test launch of German manufacturer HyImpulse’s SR75 rocket at the end of April or early May.

The launch will test HyImpulse’s hybrid propulsion technology, which combines paraffin wax and liquid oxygen – a non-explosive fuel that revolutionises rocket handling and logistics. The rocket will consequently reach an altitude of 50 kilometres before parachuting back to Earth, where it will be recovered for testing.

Southern Launch and the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation have been working since 2017 to develop the range.
The new facilities will, therefore, help to provide local employment, investment and educational opportunities for members of the local Koonibba community, as well as the wider Eyre Peninsula. The partnership will also see the development of an Astronomical Center and Observatory, with the range expected to attract both tourists and global space companies, contributing more than $500,000 annually to the Koonibba community.

Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said, “We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Koonibba community to construct permanent facilities at the Koonibba Test Range that will bring wide-ranging benefits to the local community and to the Australian space industry.” The CEO also added, “The permanent, world-class facilities at the Koonibba Test Range will put Australia on the map as a space-faring nation. We have a long list of global customers ready to use the range, and we’re excited about the incredible opportunities this presents for Koonibba and South Australia.”

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