Launchapalooza: 26 New Boosters Debuting Worldwide

Vega-C lifts off on its maiden flight on July 13, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the first seven months of the year, five new satellite launch vehicles from Europe, China, Russia and South Korea flew successfully for the first time. As impressive as that is, it was a mere opening act to a busy period that could see at least 20 additional launchers debut around the world.

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A Busy Six Months as Suborbital Spaceflight Comes Into its Own

New Shepard lands after the NS-21 flight. (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

Part I of II

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For decades, the suborbital launch sector was largely a backwater. Militaries tested ballistic missiles, scientists conducted experiments, and engineers tested new technologies. A sounding rocket is small potatoes compared with orbital rocket launches and the glamor of human spaceflight. Few people paid much attention.

All that has changed in recent years as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin and their billionaire owners — Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos — started launching themselves and others on suborbital joyrides. Startups have been conducting suborbital flight tests of new orbital launch vehicles designed to serve the booming smalls satellite market. Suborbital has become a much more interesting sector.

This year has been no exception. The first half of 2022 saw Blue Origin send 12 people into space on two New Shepard flights, a Chinese company conduct six launches in a program to develop aa suborbital spaceplane and hypersonic transport, South Korea and Iran perform flight tests of three different smallsat launchers, Germany test technologies for reusable rockets, and first-ever commercial launch from Australia. And, a great deal of science was done.

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Southern Launch Receives Further Support from the Federal Government

ADELAIDE, Australia (Southern Launch PR) — Australian spaceport and space mission provider, Southern Launch, has been awarded an Australian Space Agency Moon to Mars Grant for their mobile launch rail.

The almost $1 million grant will enable Southern Launch to design, construct, and commission a mobile launch rail that will be capable of launching sub-orbital vehicles ranging in mass from 20kg to 3,500kg. The mobility of the rocket launcher will allow Southern Launch to utilise the launch rail at both the Koonibba Test Range and the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.

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Southern Launch Welcomes Funding Boost for the Australian Space Industry

ADELAIDE, Australia (Southern Launch PR) — Southern Launch welcomes today’s announcement of a $65m Space Infrastructure Fund by the Australian Federal Government.

As Australia’s sole company with space launch facilities licensed to undertake space launches, today’s announcement broadcasts to the world that Australia is serious about a vibrant space launch capability in our nation.

Launch creates a centre of gravity that underpins an enduring broader space industry, and today’s announcement underscores an important strategic step towards Australia reaching that milestone.

With a mature rocket and satellite customer base, Southern Launch looks forward to utilising the fund to develop critical infrastructure that will shepherd more launches from our Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex and Koonibba Test Range into space.

Lloyd Damp CEO: “Today’s announcement of Federal support for the development of space launch facilities, and under the strategic guidance of Mr Enrico Palermo from the Australian Space Agency, accelerates our nation’s ability to become a global leader in space launch activities. I look forward to the not-too-distant future when all Australians can take pride in our national space future.”

Rocket Factory Augsburg, Southern Launch Sign Agreement for Launch Facilities in Australia

RFA One launcher in flight (Credit: Rocket Factory Augsburg)

SINGAPORE, 10 February 2022 (Rocket Factory Augsburg PR) – Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA), Europe’s leading launch service provider, has partnered with Southern Launch, a South Australian rocket launch service provider. The partnership allows for the German launcher RFA ONE to be launched from Southern Launch’s launch sites; the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex in South Australia. Southern Launch’s orbital complex provides direct ascent into sun-synchronous and polar orbits. 

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Southern Launch and TiSPACE Release VS01 Rocket Launch Footage

ADELAIDE, South Australia (Southern Launch PR) — Southern Launch and TiSPACE have today released footage from their maiden test launch attempt of the Hapith I launch vehicle from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.

The video features never-before-seen footage as the two companies worked collaboratively together to conduct Australia’s first commercial space launch attempt in over 50 years.

Lloyd Damp, Southern Launch CEO said, “We are thrilled to present this film to the public, to showcase the tremendous work of our launch teams. This launch campaign may not have taken Australia to space; however, it has provided our teams with valuable data and insights that will further refine our launch capabilities”.

Dr Yen-Sen Chen, TiSPACE Founder and CEO said, “With more test launches ahead, we shall soon journey into space, amongst other exciting achievements to come”.

Southern Launch and TiSPACE are planning to livestream future test launches from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.

Hytera Delivers Reliable Comms and Time GPS to Tracking for Southern Launch

Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.

SYDNEY (Hytera PR) – Hytera partner D2N in Australia supplied a multi-site Hytera XPT radio network with real-time GPS tracking across a large rocket launch site with difficult terrain for space company Southern Launch.

Southern Launch is a rocket launch service provider based in Adelaide, South Australia. Its goal is to develop a space launch capability to send satellites into orbit from its Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The company also has a suborbital testing facility at the Koonibba Test Range.

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Australia’s First People to Lead Australia back to the Stars

ADELAIDE, S.A. (Southern Launch PR) — In a historic announcement the Koonibba Test Range, developed by Southern Launch with strong support and involvement from the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation, has been approved to host rocket launches to space.

Australia’s first ever Launch Facility Licence was signed by the Hon Karen Andrews MP Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology after Southern Launch completed the licensing process through the Australian Space Agency, which in January 2021 welcomed its new Head, Mr Enrico Palermo.

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