Virgin shoots stars from Toowoomba

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Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport could turn into a major satellite launch center as Virgin Orbit explores the site’s potential as a hub for space innovation.

The airport is privately owned by the Wagner Corporation, which has signed an agreement with Virgin Orbit to provide satellite launch services from southern Queensland.

There is potential to certify Wellcamp as a national spaceport that could conduct an orbital launch demonstration as early as 2024.

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“We are excited to partner with Wagner Corporation, one of the most successful privately held companies in the region, to bring the first national orbital launch to Australia,” said Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit.

First steps include adapting Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket system to comply with Australian regulations.

A roadmap will also be developed on how to build and stage LauncherOne’s mobile ground support equipment and other infrastructure at Wellcamp.

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“Wellcamp Airport and Business Park is on track to become one of the most sustainable carbon neutral destinations internationally,” said John Wagner, chairman of Wagner Corporation.

“Virgin Orbit will join Boeing and other global companies as part of Wellcamp’s new world-class Aerospace and Defense Precinct and Campus, with Stage 1 to be completed by the end of 2024.”

The plan includes steps to enable LauncherOne’s first flights from Australia within 18 months.

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-MONKEY

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