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South Australian Space Companies Sign Agreement For First Payload Launch From Australian Soil

Two South Australian space industry start-up companies will collaborate to launch Australia's first payload to space aboard a suborbital rocket. 

Southern Launch will be the launch service provider when DEWC Systems launch their Space Payload 1 from Southern Launch’s test range at Koonibba, in the far west of South Australia. 

The 27 cm long payload will launch on a T-Minus Engineering Dart rocket and carry miniature sensors, antennae and communications equipment that will be tracked in real time at DEWC’s ground station. 

The payload is expected to reach an altitude of around 100 kms before being ejected from the launch vehicle and descending to Earth. During descent DEWC will detect, identify and locate radar signals through various altitudes and environments. 

The companies are waiting on final launch approval from the Australian Space Agency before announcing a launch date. 

Members of the public will be able to view the launch. 

“The launch of the DEWC Systems payload at our Koonibba Test Range, supported by the First Nations community there, will mark the beginning of Australia’s entry into the NewSpace race, and a future where Australia can truly reach for the stars,” Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp said. 

The Koonibba Test Range, developed by Southern Launch in conjunction with the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation, extends northwards for 145 kilometres from Koonibba and covers 10,000 uninhabited square kilometres. 

DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer described the planned launch of Payload 1 as a “turning point” in Australian space history. 

“It demonstrates what Australian SMEs can achieve through genuine collaboration,” he said. “It makes a very clear statement to the world that the Australian space industry has grown up and is ready to make its mark in this exciting NewSpace era.”


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