Sunday 14th of July 2024

NASA restarts Woomera Spaceport for International Space Station

I've just seen the main story in today's Advertiser, of the commercial spaceport trials to be conducted by NASA at Woomera/. 

[excerpt]

In a boost to South Australia's credentials as the defence state, U.S.-based Rocketplane Kistler secured a $272 million NASA contract to launch rockets from Woomera, carrying cargo to the station.

 [excerpt]

After a trial of five launches, NASA is expected to decide around 2009-10 which company is capable of better servicing the space station. It is possible both could be selected, Rocketplane Kistler said.

If successful, the Woomera site would be used to launch cargo such as fuel and food to the station as often as every two weeks.

As NASA requires the K-1 to have crew transportation capabilities, however, the Woomera site could see the first astronauts leave from Australia.

If you've followed the Halliburton's Adelaide link you'll know the possible uses I'd thought about for Woomera.  When that plan for a reactor to be built there hit the press it looked like nuclear fuelled space transport wasn't too far off, and now a variant of Arthur C Clarke's noting of the signifigance of the place ( in 1947)  is  today's big news.  The head of the company conducting the tests is today telling Adelaide that ""Woomera was chosen because it can be used for polar and equatorial launches and because of its clean land areas."  He should have credited Arthur for originating the concept from which he's profiting.

A sixty year old prediction has just come partially true, except  that instead of, as Clarke perceived, Great Britain becoming a superpower because of its control of space travel via ownership of Woomera,  it will now be the U.S., with it newly rebuilt southern colony, that will control the spaceways from the middle of South Australia.