SA companies to complete work on VS03 mission in November

Image credit: Southern Launch

Work on the VS03 mission by four South Australian companies is slated to be completed by the end of the year. 

The mission, prepared by Southern Launch, ATSpace, Asension, and Inovor Technologies, will launch an ATSpace Kestrel I rocket to space from South Australia in November. 

Carrying an Inovor Technologies spacecraft integrated with payloads manufactured by Asension and Southern Launch, the rocket will lift off the Southern Launch Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula. 

The Southern Launch payload will use existing satellite phone technology to track the rocket as it travels through space removing the need for traditional ground-based infrastructure. 

The VS03 mission will seek to provide vital data that would prove the capability of this cutting-edge technology and serve as proof of concept for future product development. 

During the flight, Southern Launch, Asension, and Inovor Technologies will monitor their payload and test communication protocols. The mission will also be another opportunity for Southern Launch and ATSpace to gain further flight heritage for the Kestrel I launch vehicle in preparation for future orbital launch attempts. 

The Kestrel I vehicle is a 10-metre, two-stage, sub-orbital rocket. 

The launch’s trajectory will be over the Southern Ocean with the total time of flight approximately 10 minutes.  

“Southern Launch is proud to be launching this rocket on behalf of our customer ATSpace and providing access to space for Asension and Inovor Technologies to test their world-class technology. We are also excited to test our own payload capabilities in flight,” said Southern Launch’s CEO, Lloyd Damp. 

“The VS03 mission is incredibly exciting. It is a realisation of the incredible work and collaboration that is happening right here in South Australia and testament to our position as the space capital of Australia,” Damp added. 

“This launch will accelerate the development of our technology in way that has not previously been possible. This means that we can provide greater sovereign capability sooner,” said Ian Spencer, CEO of Asension.