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Aim for the stars: Rockets set to launch from north Queensland

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Deputy Premier Steven Miles has approved Abbot Point being used by Gilmour Space to launch satellites and other payloads.

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The well-regarded Gold Coast company plans to launch its first Eris rocket next year, carrying a ‘space taxi’ by Sydney-based Space Machines Company and a fire detection satellite by the Sunshine Coast’s Fireball International.

After a technical and environmental study, Miles today announced the government had approved Abbot Point in north Queensland being used for small-scale launch vehicles.

“Growing our space industry in Queensland will add billions to the economy and create thousands of local jobs,” Miles said.

Gilmour Space co-founder James Gilmour, the head of launch operations, said Abbot Point was ideal because it allowed the company to offer customers a range of valuable orbits, inclinations, and altitudes.

“With sufficient and timely support, I see no reason why we can’t be demonstrating key sovereign space capability next year, launching our first Australian-made rocket, with Australian payloads, from an Australian launch site,” Gilmour said.

Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the announcement, which also had bipartisan support during the state election campaign.

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