Home LATEST NEWS ‘Historic’ NASA launch from the Australian outback

‘Historic’ NASA launch from the Australian outback


This is the first of three flights planned in total from the Arnhem Space Center (northern Australia). The rocket, which carries a small space telescope described as a mini Hubbletook off up to 350 km altitude in the starry night.

It’s a historic moment for us as a society in particular, but it’s also historic for Australia. »

A quote from Michael Jones, CEO of Equatorial Launch Australia

His company owns and operates the launch site located in the far north of the island. Mr Jones described Sunday’s take-off as thecoming out“,”text”:”coming out”}}’>coming out of the Australian space industry and welcomed the chance to work with NASA.

After several delays due to rain and wind, the suborbital sounding rocket was able to leave to study the X-rays emanating from the stars Alpha Centauri A and B, which together form a binary star.

New opportunities for scientists

After reaching its peak, the rocket payload must record data on the binary system before descending back to earth using a parachute.

According to NASA, this launch offers a unique insight into other solar systems and offers new opportunities for scientists.

We look forward to being able to launch important science missions from the Southern Hemisphere and observe targets that we cannot see from the United States. »

A quote from Nicky Fox, Director of NASA’s Heliophysics Department

Mr Jones said the unique location had complicated preparations: the rockets have to be brought from Darwin to the site – a 28-hour drive – and it took years of work to get all the official clearances.

A new era

The next launch is scheduled for July 4, leaving little time for the team – time to dust ourselves off, take a day off, then get back to itaccording to Mr. Jones.

It is the first NASA rocket to take off from Australia since 1995. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed the start of a new era for his country’s space industry.

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