An oddity in space history is that Australia, a stable democracy with plenty of low-latitude sites, has never had much of a space launch industry. The U.S. launches to low-inclination orbits from Cape Canaveral, 28 deg. from the equator, to get free velocity from the Earth’s rotation. But Australia has territory within 11 deg. of the equator. Finally, construction is due to begin in April on an equatorial space launch base in northern Australia. Initial suborbital shots are planned ...

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