Southern Launch rocket flight moved to Wednesday

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

A landmark rocket launch from South Australia will now take place on Wednesday, after unfavourable weather forced a postponement of the original plan last Friday.

Adelaide space company Southern Launch on Tuesday confirmed it has a new launch window to send a Taiwanese rocket into sub-orbit from its Whalers Way complex on the Eyre Peninsula.

Southern Launch and tiSPACE teams prepare for launch. Image: Supplied

The new launch window – between 6am and 6pm on Wednesday 15 September – was issued by the Australian Space Agency.

Southern Launch had planned to send Taiwanese company tiSPACE’s 10 metre, two-stage rocket into sub-orbit on Friday in a commercial deal.

The launch is seen as a test of both companies’ capabilities and an important step for Australia’s space industry, marking the biggest domestic rocket launch in decades and the nation’s first major commercial rocket.

The rocket and its launch site from above.

The outcome will also be critical for Southern Launch’s plan to make the Whalers Way complex permanent. The Adelaide based company has secured Australia’s only launch licences for the complex, 680km west of Adelaide, to conduct a test campaign for a permanent facility.

The company also needs to overcome opposition from local residents, traditional owners and conservationists about the impact of its facility, which is located in a pristine coastal environment.

Demonstrators protested the planned launch on Friday, but it was “strong upper winds” which eventually forced it to be called off late in the day, according to Southern Launch.

The Australian Space Agency confirmed another attempt for Wednesday, issuing a launch notice and confirming maritime and airspace access restrictions will be in place.

Public and media will not be able to attend the launch facility and Southern Launch will not be livestreaming the event.

The company said it is now focused on the launch and will provide an update post-launch on the outcome.

People wanting to view the launch in person have been encouraged to watch from the Wanna lookout, located across the bay from the facility, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Port Lincoln.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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