- Press Release
- Feb 3, 2023
Australia’s First People to Lead Australia back to the Stars
In a historic announcement the Koonibba Test Range, developed by Southern
Launch with strong support and involvement from the Koonibba Community Aboriginal Corporation,
has been approved to host rocket launches to space.
Australia’s first ever Launch Facility Licence was signed by the Hon Karen Andrews MP Federal
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology after Southern Launch completed the licensing
process through the Australian Space Agency, which in January 2021 welcomed its new Head, Mr
The Koonibba Test Range is situated 40 kilometres north-west of Ceduna in South Australia’s Far
West Coast and was where on the 19th of September 2020 Southern Launch sent two space-capable
rockets to the edge of space, permitted under a CASA license. This new facility is set to transform the
local area into a vibrant space hub and will attract space industry related jobs and growth to the
Corey McLennan, CEO of the Koonibba Community said, “Our community has already seen the
benefits of our relationship with Southern Launch. Our kids cannot stop talking about studying STEM
courses at university and one day returning to Koonibba to be part of Australia’s space future. Our
entire Aboriginal community is very proud to be directly involved in the development of the
Koonibba Test Range and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with
“Southern Launch is so excited by this development, and with the Koonibba Test Range licensed to
launch rockets into space and recover the payloads in the uninhabited desert to the north, we are
ready to provide a unique service to both domestic and international customers. All the hard work
done by Southern Launch and the Koonibba community over the past three years has paid off.” said
Mr Lloyd Damp, CEO of Southern Launch.
Operations at the Koonibba Test Range are providing employment and increased business
opportunities for the local communities in Koonibba, Ceduna and greater Eyre Peninsula through the
creation of a New Space economy in the area. Southern Launch is providing training and
development courses to upskill the local Koonibba community members to further integrate the
First Nation’s community into Australia’s return to the stars.
About Southern Launch
Southern Launch is an innovative space company providing launch services, launch sites and bespoke
rocket subsystems and designs to customers. In addition to the suborbital Koonibba Test Range, the
company is also developing the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex located at the tip of the Eyre
Peninsula to support orbital launches into the highly sought after polar and sun synchronous orbits.
The Australian company is a privately owned and headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia.
About the Koonibba Test Range
The Koonibba Test Range is the southern hemisphere’s largest overland suborbital rocket testing
facility. The Range extends out 145 kilometres and covers over 10,000km2 making it the perfect
location to launch and recover rocket and satellite technologies in the uninhabited national parks to
the north. The Range provides a critical steppingstone for companies to validate their technology’s
performance before launching their rockets and satellites into orbit from Southern Launch’s
proposed Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex.