Southern Launch has signed an MoU with UK based Space Forge to explore possibilities of satellite return to Southern Launch’s Koonibba Test Range.
UK based Space Forge is on a mission to make space work for humanity by harnessing the power of microgravity and offers an on-demand service to advance the expansion of the in-space manufacturing market for the research and production of new super materials that aim to tackle some of the biggest problems faced by modern society.
To enable this service, they are developing a world-first service that incorporates launch and return of a new small class of vehicle – the ForgeStar – that can be deployed from conventional launchers to provide rapid, reliable and reusable in-space infrastructure. Space Forge will launch their ForgeStar-1A satellite later this year, where they will prove their re-entry capabilities.
At over 10,000 square kilometers (half the size of Space Forge’s home country Wales), the Koonibba Test Range is one of the world’s largest commercial rocket testing facilities. The size and geographical location in line with SSO makes it an ideal location for Space Forge to target as their re-entry point for the ForgeStar satellite.
Space Forge and Southern Launch will collaborate on the MoU over the coming months and hope to announce a joint mission before the end of the year.
“This agreement with Space Forge heralds a new era in the Australian space industry. It’s a definitive step forward in showcasing to the world the expertise and natural advantages we have right here in South Australia. Space Forge will be looking to refurbish and launch their satellites as close as possible to the re-entry point. Our Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex is the natural solution for a launch site, and we will be exploring this option with Space Forge throughout the MoU process. Our hope is to provide a complete solution for Space Forge which creates further opportunities for the wider industry.” — Southern Launch CEO, Lloyd Damp
“This partnership is a fantastic example of international collaboration – working together for the benefit of the global space industry. The size and location of the Koonibba Test Range as a Southern Hemisphere re-entry point for our ForgeStar satellite make it an ideal option for our business model and this partnership has great potential to bring economic growth and cutting-edge technologies to both the UK and Australia. We are delighted to be announcing our collaboration and excited to grow our relationship with Lloyd and the team at Southern Launch.” — Joshua Western, CEO and Co-Founder of Space Forge