Where is the Future of Australian Space?

Where is the Future of Australian Space?

Recently released space strategy details the potential to have regular launches of spacecraft and satellites. 

The idea of Australia's base of operations in South Australia and a launch site in the Northern Territory is losing steam, as the logistics dictate the costs involved in transit between the two would negate the benefits of having a launch site near the equator. 

Australia launches rocket from South Australia

Launching in the proposed site of Nhulunbuy in the NT means the craft can ride the equator and receive a boost on kinetic energy resulting in cheaper launches to the taxpayer or larger payloads into space for the same price.

Locating yourself in a proximal location to the equator is the main reason nations choose to launch in the Pacific, such as the European Space Agency launching from Kourou.

Conversely, the benefits of launching in South Australia make for optimal satellite orbits that follow the suns path and trip around the poles. This makes for optimal observation of Earth and has military strategic implications as surveillance. 

Australias rocket launch location

This type of surveillance capability would also strengthen Australia's ability to determine and deter anti-satellite (ASAT) attacks on our satellites and craft, such as the recent Indian Air Force demonstration in which they blew a satellite out of the atmosphere. 

In an ever-evolving warfare landscape where the space race has become paralleled with an arms race, if Australia does not act on the military implications behind situational awareness we could be subject to the whims of other military powers. 

Australian launcher

The idea of both locations sharing the weight of the space burden has been proposed, however, logistically the financial benefits of launching in the north would be negated by the southern base having to transit material there for launch. 

What say you about our launch options in Australia?
Where is the future of Australian space?


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