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  • Space age

    From the Queensland Sunday Mail
    GERARD McMANUS
    24jun01

    AUSTRALIA is set to blast into the space race with latest-generation rockets to be launched from a new spaceport on Christmas Island.

    The tiny, remote Indian Ocean island will be turned into the world's first commercial astrodrome from where Russian-built Aurora rockets, named after the spectacular light shows seen in the polar skies, will carry hi-tech satellites and commercial payloads into orbit.

    The Federal Government has announced $100 million in funding for the new facility on the island, which is 2500km west of Darwin and 500km south of Jakarta.

    Hundreds of Russian scientists and technicians will swarm over the island during launches, which could start as early as 2003.

    Up to 15 launches, which cost about $160 million each, are expected each year.

    The spaceport is being built by Asia Pacific Space Centre, which is owned by Korean-Australian millionaire David Kwon in association with his Russian partners and the Federal Government.

    Construction will begin this year and will take up to two years, according to APSC.

    After two test launches of Aurora, the facility will be ready to support commercial operations.

    Satellite launching has had a rocky path in Australia over recent decades with the collapse of a proposed Cape York project.

    The $800 million spaceport is the biggest step forward for Australia's aerospace industry since the closure of the Woomera Rocket Range in the 1970s.

    It will generate up to 400 jobs during the construction phase and up to 550 jobs when fully operational.

    It will also contribute up to $8 billion to Australia's economy over 10 years.

    But the centre has two competitors in the Australian space race.

    These are the US-based Kistler corporation, which aims to use re-usable rockets from Woomera in South Australia, and Spacelift Australia, which plans to use SS25 Russian ballistic missile rockets, also from Woomera.

    The Christmas Island site was chosen because it is just 10 degrees south of the Equator, which makes it less expensive to launch and carry larger payloads.

    The Aurora rocket will be powered by liquid nitrogen and kerosene, one of the cleanest forms of fuel available.

    It is capable of delivering up to 12,000kg to low-earth orbit when launched from Christmas Island, and up to 4500kg to a geostationary orbit.

    The space pad will occupy 85ha, of which about 30 per cent will be built on.

    Mission control centre will be about 3.5km north of the launch pad which will be situated on the southern end of the island
    "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

  • #2
    Nitrogen?

    Comment


    • #3
      Methane! [img]http://www.angelfire.com/j***/hh300/fartpoop.gif[/img]


      ------------------
      We are the Police! Resistance is Futile!
      "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

      Comment


      • #4
        And Christmas Island is part of my part of Australia.
        Winners are grinners


        ------------------

        Romans 1:22

        Professing to be wise, they became fools.

        Comment


        • #5
          And Christmas Island is part of my part of Australia.
          Winners are grinners


          ------------------

          Romans 1:22

          Professing to be wise, they became fools.

          Comment


          • #6
            Rule.303,
            I have to disagree with you!!
            Christmas Island is part of our Australia, and something that we are all proud of.


            ------------------
            We are the Police! Resistance is Futile!
            "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

            Comment

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