NASA has successfully launched a rocket from Australia’s remote Northern Territory, making history as the agency’s first commercial spaceport launch outside the United States.
- According to Equatorial Launch Australia, the rocket blasted off from the Arnhem Space Centre on the Dhupuma Plateau, near the township of Nhulunbuy.
- The rocket is expected to travel more than 300 kilometres into space on its mission to observe the Alpha Centauri ‘A’ and ‘B’ constellations, the nearest star systems to the Earth.
- Australia has a unique connection to Alpha Centauri. The Alpha Centauri can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere and is one of the “pointers” to the Southern Cross constellation depicted on the nation’s national flag.
- This Launch also made history for Australia as the first commercial space launch in the country. According to NASA, it was the first of three launches, with a further two planned for 4th and 12th of July.