Rocketplane Kistler and SpaceX to Test in S. Australia


Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that RocketPlane Kistler and SpaceX are trying to gain the right to test rockets at the Australian Defense Department site in Woomera, South Australia. Attracted by the size (about as large as England) and remoteness of the location, the Kistler and SpaceX hope to use the site to do test launches of the rockets NASA International Space Station.

Military history buffs will remember the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) as the largest land-based testing range in the world and the site of much of Australia and the U.K.’s nuclear (and otherwise) missile testing throughout the cold war. The WPA, which is still in use today for weapons testing, was also the location of many of European Launcher Development Organization (ELDO)‘s EUROPA rocket launches (one waiting to be launched is seen above) and NASA’s Island Lagoon Deep Space Tracking Station throughout the 1960s.

In addition to being a site with a great history, Woomera seems to have some good site-seeing opportunities and be just as beautiful as much of the rest of the Outback.