NT News

NASA prepares for lift-off

- THOMAS MORGAN

THE eagle has landed in the Territory, with NASA scientists involved in the Arnhem Space Centre being released from Howard Springs on Friday.

They hope to launch Australia’s first space mission in more than 25 years.

Preparatio­n at the Arnhem site will now begin for the launch of three sounding rockets.

NASA Sounding Rocket Program operations manager Scott Bissett said the project would allow three payloads to be launched in mid-2022, which will retrieve advanced telescopes from orbit.

“It’s something myself I’ve been working on for the last four years, but NASA has been working to get back to Australia for the past year and a half,” Mr Bissett said.

“We have about 24 pieces of equipment that are going to be arriving at the Port of Gove next week, in anticipati­on of starting our site set-up.”

Mr Bissett, along with 26 other scientists from NASA, quarantine­d at Howard Springs for two weeks to make it into the NT.

“Don’t tell the folks back home, but it actually went a lot quicker than we expected it to, even though we were there for the full 14 days,” he said.

“Howard Springs was great, the staff at (the Centre for National Resilience) were fantastic.”

Mining and Industry Minister Nicole Manison said the mission marked one small step for the Territory’s big space ambitions.

“We’ve got NASA here on the ground,” Ms Manison said.

“The Northern Territory has really got a foot in the space industry now.”

 ?? NASA’s Scott Bissett. Picture: NT government ??
NASA’s Scott Bissett. Picture: NT government

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