Press Release

Woomera Test Facility in Australia Designated Historic Aerospace Site

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2007
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May 21, 2007 –Reston, Virginia –The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will designate on May 22 the Woomera Test Facility in Australia as a Historic Aerospace Site.

The site is the largest land-based range in the world and provides instrumented aerospace test and evaluation range support services to the Australian Defence Force and the broader defense community. Woomera is an Australian icon that is synonymous with the testing of long-range missiles and rockets during the Cold War. It is also known for the launch and tracking of spacecraft in the early days of the Space Age.

Notable achievements encompass pioneering advances in missile testing under the Anglo-Australian Joint Project, and major space programs including over 250 Skylark rocket flights and the launch of Australia’s first satellite in 1967. The first U.S. Vanguard satellite was tracked from Woomera as were the manned Mercury flights and interplanetary missions.

The dedication ceremony will take place Tuesday, May 22, at Missile Park, Woomera. Officiating at the ceremony will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Peter Lindsay; Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd, Chief of Air Force; and AIAA Executive Director Bob Dickman.  The dedication occurs as the Woomera Test Facility celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2007.

AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation of, and the dissemination of information about, significant accomplishments made in the aerospace profession. In addition to the Woomera Test Facility, other sites recognized by the AIAA History Technical Committee include the original Bendix Aviation Company in Teterboro, New Jersey; the Boeing Red Barn, Seattle, Washington; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; the site of the first balloon launch in Annonay, France; and Tranquility Base on the moon. For more information about AIAA’s Historic Aerospace Sites Program, contact Emily Springer at 703/264-7533 or

AIAA advances the state of aerospace science, engineering, and technological leadership. Headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., the Institute serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. AIAA membership is drawn from all levels of industry, academia, private research organizations, and government. For more information, visit

Sharon Grace

Corporate Communications
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500
Reston, VA 20191

SpaceRef staff editor.