Space launch

Location: Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia

Project: Space industry - launch

Investment type: Equity; launch customers

Proponent: Equatorial Launch Australia

Project status: Investor ready


Take a glimpse at what Equatorial Launch Australia's Arnhem Space Centre will look like

View the transcript for the take a glimpse at what Equatorial Launch Australia's Arnhem Space Centre will look like video.

The opportunity

Equatorial Launch Australia’s Arnhem Space Centre will be Australia’s first commercial space launch facility, providing efficient launch, tracking and recovery options for government, research and commercial customers. Arnhem Space Centre is on track to commence operation in 2020 and will help to alleviate constraints on the supply of launch services resulting from increased demand for small satellites.

Equatorial Launch Australia is looking to attract equity investment and add to its growing portfolio of launch customers.

Why the Territory

Arnhem Space Centre is located in the Northern Territory’s East Arnhem region just 12 degees from the equator, allowing launch vehicles to leverage the earth’s rotation to gain extra velocity. This improves payload to fuel ratios providing significant cost savings over alternative global launch facilities.

The launch facility will initially be equipped with three launch pads to accommodate sub-orbital and small orbital satellite launch vehicles. The facility’s design will allow the site to reliably scale to support all current and future launch and recovery technologies. All orbits are achievable from Arnhem Space Centre, with comparative advantage in launches to equatorial low earth orbit, geosynchronous equatorial orbit, lunar orbit and deep space.

Arnhem Space Centre is located just outside of the town of Nhulunbuy, a regional service hub for the Northern Territory’s East Arnhem region, providing access to crucial existing infrastructure including:

  • high quality airport
  • deep sea port
  • regional hospital and accommodation
  • broadband optical fibre connectivity.

The region is sparsely populated, air traffic is minimal and the nearby Gulf of Carpentaria has low activity, allowing for frequent launch and easy recovery.

Map of Asia showing the Northern Territory and Arnhem Space Centre in relation to the rest of Asia.

NASA is planning to launch a sub-orbital sounding rocket campaign from Arnhem Space Centre in 2021.

Strategic relationships

Equatorial Launch Australia has established a strong network of strategic relationships, all working to support the sustainability and growth of the Arnhem Space Centre. These include the Gumatj Traditional Owners, the Northern Territory Government and Developing East Arnhem Limited.

Equatorial Launch Australia has confirmed agreements with proven launch vehicle providers, as well as a number of international launch customers, with NASA planning to conduct a sub-orbital launch campaign from Arnhem Space Centre in 2021.

For further information on the space industry in the Northern Territory, go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation website.

Contact details

Carley Scott
Chief Executive Officer
Equatorial Launch Australia

Claire George
Director - Space Industry
Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet

Phone: +61 8 8999 5369 or +61 401 115 600

Disclaimer: This web page includes information provided by third parties. The information is general in nature and is for information purposes only. The Northern Territory Government makes no representation about the veracity or accuracy of information provided by third parties. You must rely on your own due diligence before proceeding. You should consider seeking independent professional advice.