A plan to build a spaceport to support small satellite launches has moved forward in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The Northern Land Council has granted a 275-hectare lease in northeast Arnhem Land to the Gumatj clan for use as a commercial rocket launching facility.
That’ll pave the way for Gumatj Aboriginal Corporation to sublease the site to Equatorial Launch Australia, a firm whose $236 million space base proposal is being considered by federal and NT infrastructure funds.
The 12-year lease has an option for a 28-year extension, and is expected to be finalised later this month.
The Arnhem Space Centre could be operational within a year, and would be the only facility of its kind in the south-east Asia region.
Equatorial Launch Australia says they have not finalized any orbital rockets to be launched from the spaceport. Initially, suborbital sounding rockets will be flown from there.