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Hon John Moore MP
Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism
Hon Senator Robert Hill
Minister for the Environment

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

GIANT STEP FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH PROJECT


6 March 1998

An Australian-based commercial space launch industry has taken a major step forward with the granting by the Federal Government of environmental clearance to Kistler Aerospace Corporation.

The Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism, John Moore, and the Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill, said today the Government had given the environmental green light for the commercial space launch service Kistler plans to establish at Woomera, South Australia.

Kistler will use the site for reusable launch vehicles and for the rapidly expanding market in low-Earth orbit communications satellites.

Hundreds of satellites will be launched from Woomera and will provide vastly enhanced communication links for the global information superhighway.

"Kistler will provide launch services with its K-1 reusable aerospace vehicle, the components of which are designed to be returned to the launch site rather than expended in flight," Mr Moore said.

"This innovation, combined with the K-1's use of fuels similar to that in jet aircraft, provides a way to put large numbers of satellites into orbit, with minimal impacts to the environment, and at a significantly lower cost."

"We have set down some strict but reasonable environmental conditions. But subject to these, there is no reason why this project can't go ahead and be a major boost for Australia," Senator Hill said.

These conditions include meeting launch licensing requirements being developed by the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism. The Department will be responsible for regulating Kistler's space launch activities and ensuring commercial space launches are in line with the Commonwealth's international obligations.

"To further develop the space industry in Australia, the Commonwealth also is negotiating with the Russian Federation on an agreement on the use of space technology that will enhance Australia as a preferred location for commercial space activities," Mr Moore said.

Contact:
Norma Rainey Mr Moore's office 02 6277 7580
Matt Brown Senator Hill's Office 02 6277 7640, 0419 693 515
CMR985

Commonwealth of Australia