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Brisbane space company Black Sky Aerospace launches first fully Australian made rocket in 40 years

A historic rocket launch has kicked off one of Australia’s newest space programs, setting a precedent for the industry’s future.

The rocket, dubbed Sighter 150, is the first rocket to be launched, designed, built and powered on Australian soil in 40 years.

It’s the brain child of Brisbane-based company Black Sky Aerospace, which will launch three more rockets by early 2022.
Caption
Queensland rocket launch
Sighter 150 is the first rocket to be launched, designed, built and powered on Australian soil in 40 years. (9News)

Director Blake Nikolic said the rocket launch was a success, setting the tone for future innovations.

“It was travelling at twice the speed of sound,” Mr Nikolic said.

“It got to the height of a commercial airliner in just under 30 seconds, unlike the 30 minutes a normal airline would take to get there.”

He said the company was working on advancing Australia’s space industry, with government support.

It's the brain child of Brisbane-based company, Black Sky Aerospace.
It’s the brain child of Brisbane-based company, Black Sky Aerospace. (9News)

“The federal government has announced that they want to grow the space industry by 2030 to 12 billion and 20,000 new job,” he said.

“We’re playing a pivotal role in boosting that space capability in Australia.”

He added that by launching satellite rockets like the Sighter 150, scientists and space engineers could collect valuable data and insights into space technologies.

“We’re working closely with the Australian Space Agency,” Mr Nikolic said.

“This rocket is a stepping stone, one in a series of four and that fourth one will be a space launch so a 100 per cent Australian-made rocket.”

But he said Australia had a long way to go to match the space exploration goals of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s Space X program, instead using the technology for research, and in the future, potentially defence.

“When we’re talking about launching humans, I’m not sure where Australia fits into that, Mr Nikolic said.

“We’re a long way away if that’s ever a reality, maybe, maybe not.”

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