PM talks up NT’s space industry credentials with NASA rocket launches

NASA rocket
The Arnhem Space Centre. Photo: Equatorial Launch Australia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stopped off in Darwin today ahead of a series of NASA rocket launches from the Top End.

Three NASA rockets will be launched between June 26 and July 12, marking the first rocket launches in Australia in 25 years.

Seventy-five NASA personnel will travel to Australia for the launches from a new space centre in remote Northern Australia.

“This is about not just the rocket launches itself but it’s about sending a message to younger Australians and indeed, Australians of any age who might be looking at retraining for future careers, of how important science is,” Albanese said.

“We want the next generation to really look at STEM as part of Australia’s future. And that’s why this is an important project.”

Equatorial Launch Australia said the new Arnhem Space Centre could potentially support up to 50 launches a year.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said the NT government had backed the project since its inception.

“It is showing that the Northern Territory is a key part of the future, particularly for investors in this new frontier,” she said.

“The Northern Territory government is committed to developing and diversifying the Territory economy.”

Enrico Palermo, head of the Australian Space Agency, says the launch will boost Australia’s standing among the “global space players”.

“The growth of launch-related activities in Australia is helping to open up the full value chain of space activities, which will grow the sector and create new businesses and job opportunities here at home,” said Palermo.