One of the largest ever commercial rockets to be launched from Australia has lifted off from the Koonibba Test Range near Ceduna.

The 11.5-metre-tall single stage rocket from German manufacturer Hylmpulse successfully completed its suborbital test launch today, reaching an altitude of 50 kilometres before parachuting back to Earth where it was recovered for detailed post flight analysis.

The Koonibba site was chosen by HyImpulse for launch because of the wide-open spaces and South Australia’s well-established space industry.

The launch saw the use of a mid-range launch rail, developed by South Australian steel company Ferretti International and hydraulic engineers Hydroil. The companies have pivoted their expertise to expand operations into South Australia’s rapidly evolving space industry.

Powered by unique propulsion technology combining paraffin wax and liquid oxygen, the successful launch of the SR75 is a gamechanger for the space industry as a non-explosive, greener fuel alternative set to revolutionise rocket handling and logistics applications.

The Koonibba Test Range is an ongoing project between founders Southern Launch and the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation since 2017 and is set to contribute over $500,000 a year to the local community.

It is also set to generate direct employment for members of the Koonibba Community and opportunities for the wider Eyre Peninsula.

Quotes attributable to Stephen Mullighan

The South Australian Government is committed to the continued development of the space ecosystem and our evolving contribution to our nation’s sovereign space capability.

The successful launch of one of the largest commercial rockets in Australia reaffirms South Australia’s reputation on a global scale as a leader in the sector and opens doors for future national and international launch opportunities.

Quotes attributable to Southern Launch CEO Lloyd Damp

The launch is a momentous occasion for Australia as a nation; it tells the world that we can launch (and test) large rockets and positions Australia as a key player in a global space industry.

We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Koonibba community to construct the permanent facilities at the Koonibba Test Range.

HyImpulse are pioneering the development of new rocket technology and we are excited that we could assist with their maiden launch.

Quotes attributable to Hylmpulse CEO Mario Kobald

This launch at the Koonibba Test Range has provided us with flight heritage and the confidence to continue the development of our orbital launch vehicle, the SL1.

The Koonibba Test Range was a fantastic option for our first launch. The facilities provided by Southern Launch and the Koonibba community have enabled our team to focus on launching the rocket which is an incredible milestone for our company.

Our SR75 rocket uses an innovative hybrid rocket engine and non-explosive fuel which simplifies the transportation and handling of the rocket.

A key reason behind the development of this propulsion technology is so we can offer a rapid, efficient and responsive rocket that can be launched anywhere around the world.

Being able to transport a rocket safely with reduced logistical complexities is a key part of our strategy and we have proven it is possible with this launch from the Koonibba Test Range.

Quotes attributable to Koonibba Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson Geraldine Ware

This is an exciting time for the Koonibba Community and the Ceduna region. This was the first launch from our new permanent facilities, and we were all excited to see our planning become a reality.

Partnering with Southern Launch to develop these permanent facilities on our land secures our future as a community, providing an industry to support and inspire our people.

The Koonibba Test Range brings a wide-range of benefits to our people – from investment, employment through to inspiring our children and young people to pursue out of this world careers.