NASA to launch 3 rockets from private Australian space port

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NASA will launch a research rocket from remote northern Australia this month in the agency's first blast off from a commercial space port outside the United States.

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Three suborbital sounding rockets will be launched from the Arnhem Space Center on Indigenous-owned land near the mining town of Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory

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The launch site was chosen because it is in the Southern Hemisphere and close to the equator.

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This commercial launch range in Australia opens up new access to the Southern Hemisphere's night sky, expanding the possibilities for future science missions,” NASA associate administrator

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The 12.2-meter (40-foot), 2,200-kilogram (4,900-pound), Canadian-designed Black Brant IX rockets would focus on the Alpha Centauri A and B star systems.

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A third mission would study X-rays emanating from the interstellar medium — the clouds of gases and particles in the space between stars.

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