Candle wax blast off for German rocket

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Adelaide spacetech Southern Launch will attempt to send an 11.5 metre candle wax powered German rocket into sub-orbit on Thursday from its Koonibba test range in the state’s far west.

In an attempt at demonstrating more sustainable practices, the HyImpulse SR75 rocket has been transported to the state and tested ahead of its maiden launch.

The single stage rocket will test HyImpulse’s unique propulsion technology which combines paraffin wax (candle wax) and liquid oxygen.

The rocket can carry payloads up to 250 kg and to fly up to an altitude of 300 km. It is designed to launch microgravity experiments, can be used as a versatile rocket booster and will serves as the technology demonstrator for HyImpulse’s orbital launch vehicle, SL1.

The test flight will launch from Southern Launch’s Koonibba Test Range, which the company says was developed in partnership with the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation.

“This launch will be a momentous occasion for Australia as a nation,” said Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp.

“It signifies to the world that we are capable of launching large rockets and positions our nation as a key player in a global space industry worth billions of dollars.”

Foreign rocket launches from Australia are set to become far more frequent after the Albanese government signed a Technology SafeguardsAgreement with the US last year.

Parts of the domestic space sector criticised the agreement when its details were revealed earlier this year. But Southern Launch, a likely beneficiary of an influx of US missions from next year, says it will create more customers for local firms.

Australian rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies is a vocal critic of the TSA requirements. It is gearing up for Australia’s first sovereign orbital launch but has had to ease its pace while waiting on launch permits.

A dedicated viewing area will be established at the Koonibba township for members of the public wanting to view the launch from the 41,000 square kilometer test range.

Southern Launch has worked with other German space companies in the past.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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