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Space in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is ready to meet the future demands of the global space industry. The Territory Space Industry 2020 blueprint outlines the NT’s growing industry capabilities and strategy for maximising the benefits from advances in the space sector to boost growth, jobs and innovation.

The Northern Territory's space industry is in the early stages of development with significant growth opportunities ready for the savvy investor such as in space launches, high-altitude pseudo satellites, ground station operations and downstream space industries.

The Northern Territory has:

  • a geographic advantage for launch sites due to its proximity to the equator
  • tectonic stability
  • proximity to the sea and low population for the safe and efficient launch and payload recovery
  • clear skies mostly year-round, low light pollution and limited noise interference
  • ideal wind conditions for stratospheric balloon launches
  • an established logistics and construction industry, capable of supporting the development of space infrastructure projects, even in remote locations
  • strong earth observation capabilities, world-leading mapping for rangeland, fire and grass using data from the Landsat and Sentinel satellites.

International space businesses will find opportunities to capitalise on existing Northern Territory space infrastructure, including the Alice Springs High Altitude Balloon Launch Facility, the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, AuScope’s VLBI Telescope in Katherine, the Humpty Doo Transmitting Station, and GeoScience Australia’s Alice Springs ground station.

Current projects, innovation hubs and educational precincts include private proponent Equatorial Launch Australia, which is well progressed on plans to develop the Arnhem Space Centre. NASA has also scheduled a sounding rocket campaign from the Arnhem Centre in 2022 – its first from a non-government facility.

And Charles Darwin University’s Advanced Manufacturing Alliance with SPEE3D supports the upstream space industry.

Incentives, grants and support

Skilled individuals and businesses keen to join the Northern Territory space industry have access to plenty of advice and support for migrating, investing and working here. There are financial incentives for business owners as well as government grants to support businesses and individuals to make their mark in the Northern Territory.

The Darwin Innovation Hub provides startups, scaleups and established businesses with access to extensive networks, information, resources and strategies. Together with the Northern Territory Government, Darwin Innovation Hub is a strategic overseas partner to Project Cyclotron, a space technology focused venture building program, developed by CapVista and Singapore Space and Technology Limited. It also has grants available through its Entrepreneurs Programme to help eligible applicants grow their business, while its Northern Territory Angel Network gives entrepreneurs access to angel investment funding from across the Territory and the Asia-Pacific region.