Sydney: Three rockets will be launched by NASA from northern Australia in a matter of weeks for scientific research, making this the first time the space agency has launched rockets from a commercial center outside the United States.
Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister on Wednesday said that regulatory approval has been granted to privately owned Equatorial Launch Australia's (ELA) Arnhem Space Centre by the Australian government to launch rockets from there.
"This is a really exciting project," Albanese said during a media briefing in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. "The idea that NASA is directly involved here in Australia should be something of pride for all Australians."
NASA missions will explore heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science phenomena that can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. The first rocket is scheduled for June 26 and the others for July 4 and 12.
The Prime Minister also added that 75 of NASA personnel will be in Australia for the launch. This is the first launch by the US space agency from Australia since 1995, NDTV reported.
It was after a two year evaluation by the Australian Space Agency that the Arnhem Space Center recently received a launch facility license and launch permit for the NASA Campaign.
The company added that the project had the support of the Northern Territory government since it was established and has also invested a $ 5 million ($ 3.6 million) in ELA to expand the Arnhem Space Center.
"This is a landmark occasion for the Top End," Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyle said, referring to the geographic region at the territory's north. "NASA is adding capacity and rocketing (the region) into the global spotlight for investors."