South Australia’s potential as the nation’s emerging space capital has skyrocketed with local company Southern Launch announcing today that it will build Australia’s first orbital launch facility.

Southern Launch will establish a dedicated commercial rocket launch site at Whalers Way, on the Southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula, providing local and international companies with the opportunity to launch rockets and satellites over the Great Australian Bight.

Premier Steven Marshall said the facility will serve as an important space asset for South Australia and the nation, driving space capabilities, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

“Southern Launch is making a critical contribution to South Australia’s space ecosystem that already consists of more than 70 companies, research organisations, universities and schools”, Premier Steven Marshall said.

“This venture will serve a growing global demand for polar launch facilities, and further positions South Australia as a prominent player in the space industry nationally and internationally.

“Industry sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas, retail, transportation, government and academia around the globe will benefit from the facility, as they are increasingly using small satellites to gain information to make more intelligent decisions.

“I’d like to congratulate the team at Southern Launch on this fantastic achievement. It’s a venture that will add to the reputation of our local space industry and will have an enormous impact on our economy more broadly.”

Southern Launch Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Damp said the launch site will help attract other high-tech companies to the state and build a vibrant rocket and satellite manufacturing industry.

“I honestly believe that South Australia has the ingredients to drive advancements in the space industry on the world stage. Now we need to identify the strengths in each other and work together to leverage them”, Mr Damp said.

“Southern Launch has a great relationship with the South Australian Government and Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula who have supported us along every step of the way.”

The Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex will support the safe launch of small-lift vehicles into polar and sun-synchronous orbits, complementing other potential equatorial launch facilities in Northern Australia.

The company anticipates building of the facility to begin in 2019.