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Australia’s Northern Territory is the ideal place to meet the future demands of the global space industry.

There is unprecedented opportunity to invest in the growing space industry of Australia’s Northern Territory, specifically in:

  • space launch
  • high altitude pseudo satellites (HAPS) launch, recovery, research and development
  • ground station operations

A number of major space organisations have already recognised the Territory’s competitive advantages, including:

  • Equatorial Launch Australia operating its commercial launch facility, the Arnhem Space Centre, from Nhulunbuy
  • NASA launching a sounding rocket campaign from the Arnhem Space Centre in mid 2022, its first from a commercial spaceport outside the US
  • The HAPS Alliance acknowledging that the Territory’s conducive weather conditions and close proximity to key markets are strategic advantages for HAPS operators
  • NASA, JAXA and CNES launching scientific high altitude balloon campaigns from the Alice Springs Ballooning Facility since the 1970s
  • Geoscience Australia housing its ground station, that forms part of the Landsat Network, in Alice Springs
  • Viasat constructing two commercial ground stations in Alice Springs to expand its Real-Time Earth Network
  • ArianeGroup installing an optical telescope in Alice Springs to extend its GeoTracker space situation awareness network
  • OneWeb constructing a 14 antenna gateway site in Darwin to support its constellation of satellites
  • LeoLabs selecting Arnhem Land as its preferred location for their Northern Australia Radar

View the transcript for the Australia's Northern Territory if out of this world video.

The Territory’s geographic location provides a host of benefits for launch facilities and ground stations due to its:

  • proximity to the equator (creating cost efficiencies for launch operators and their customers)
  • low population (supporting safe and efficient launch and payload recovery)
  • southern hemisphere location and proximity to Asia (well placed to host ground station systems)
  • clear skies for much of the year
  • low light pollution
  • limited noise interference.

The development of the Arnhem Space Centre  provides a range of investment opportunities in the satellite and launch supply chain including:

  • small satellite manufacturing and ground systems for small satellite networks
  • data collection, analysis and provision of value-added services
  • tourism and education services.

Antenna at Alice Springs

Alice Springs antenna
Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2019


Ballooning facility in Alice Springs

Alice Springs Ballooning Facility - French Space Agency CNES’ scientific payload stands ready for launch during their 2017 ballooning campaign.
Copyright © CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS / Sebastien Chastanet 2017


Updated 17 February 2022