NewSpace companies agree to launch first payload from South Australia

The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, centre, joined Lloyd Damp of Southern Launch, left, and Ian Spencer of DEWC Systems at the 9th Australian Space Forum in Adelaide for the announcement of the first payload to be launched from South Australia. Photo: James Knowler
Announced at the 9th Australian Space Forum today in Adelaide, South Australia, the launch will be a first step in proving DEWC Systems’ MOESS satellite constellation as well as the first launch for Southern Launch.

The two South Australian companies have collaborated to develop the program and will test the payload at the newly established Koonibba Test Range, in the west of South Australia 40km north of the town of Ceduna.

DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer said they will launch a cigar-sized capsule of miniaturised sensors, antennas and communications equipment on a T-Minus Engineering Dart rocket.

He said the timing of the launch was dependent on approvals from the Australian Space Agency, which officially opened its new headquarters in Adelaide this morning.

“We have been working on small, electronic warfare systems for deployment on cube satellites,” said Spencer.

“This [launch] is a breakthrough and the activity we are doing with Southern Launch is a major step toward proving our capability to develop these miniaturised sensors.”

Spencer said the sensors had been designed to sit quietly in space to listen to and locate radar.

“With a large border like Australia has, and a relatively small number of assets to cover that, if we have space coverage we will be able to …