Permission granted for Koonibba Test Range upgrade
Authorities have granted permission for Southern Launch to upgrade the Koonibba Test Range to become a permanent suborbital launch facility.
The site, near Ceduna, South Australia, is also run by the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation and allows companies to recover their rockets and payloads for further testing before subsequently launching them into orbit.
It’s separate from Southern Launches’ more traditional Whalers Way complex at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula, which specialises in orbital launches over the sea.
It follows the announcement earlier this year that the federal government would issue a $4.5 million grant for the upgrade.
Enrico Palermo, head of the Australian Space Agency, called the news that planning consent had been granted a “major milestone” for Southern Launch.
“Having a test range like this on our doorstep will make it easier for our local innovators to test and validate their technology, as well as providing a safe returns destination for international space missions,” said Palermo.