Bowen thrust into the space race limelight
Hot on the heels of SpaceX’s historic launch last month comes news of the work that could propel development of a Queensland rocket hub.
CQUniversity Deputy Dean of Research, Professor Steven Moore, said the university had been working with Regional Development Australia, the Whitsunday, Mackay and Isaac Regional Councils, The Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation and Gold-Coast based rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space on Launch Whitsunday.
The commercial satellite launch complex is proposed for the Abbot Point State Development Area near Bowen.
“One of the biggest gaps Australia has in the space industry in comparison to the U.S. is not having a commercial launch facility,” he said.
“If this proposal goes ahead all the different satellite and rocket companies around Australia and the world will be able to utilise the complex.”
An original white paper written by Professor Moore outlined the geographical, climate and financial benefits of a launch site within the regional footprint.
“The Bowen region of Queensland is an excellent location for a launch base, being only 20 degrees south of the equator rockets can harness the earth’s rotation to slingshot eastward to achieve both equatorial and polar orbits with less fuel,” he said.
“The dry subtropical climate is ideal, and the region has considerable manufacturing and transport infrastructure, and the state development area around Abbot Point has plenty of space to ensure a safe buffer zone around the launch site.
“Additionally, Queensland is in a fortunate position to receive government support for space industry advancement. In February the State Government released the Queensland Space Industry Strategy 2020-2025 and plans to contribute an $8 million investment to the scheme.”
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