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Helidon Rocket Test Site

A giant leap for Australian space research.
Five men standing in high vis vests at the test site, smiling at the camera.

In a giant leap for Australian space research, the first privately-owned, static rocket testing site has been developed in a partnership between Rocket Technologies International and the University of Southern Queensland.

A sandstone quarry is now the home of the Helidon Rocket Test Site, allowing developers to test rockets that are secured to the ground in a controlled environment.

Executive Director of University of Southern Queensland’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences, Professor Schubel, said it was the only facility of its kind in Australia outside of the Defence Forces. 

'Rocket Technologies International and the University of Southern Queensland has partnered in order to build capacity for Australia, to develop the space industry and support fledgling rocket manufacturing companies so that they can enter the space race, advance technologies and sovereign capability,' Professor Schubel said.

'Through this partnership, we have been able to deliver this site for both research purposes and for commercial testing.'

The new precinct already has one horizontal test bed, rated to 200kN, which is used to verify the functionality and performance of the rockets (tested while secured in a fixed position on the test pad).

The Helidon Rocket Test Site joins the University’s Mount Kent Observatory, the state’s only professional astronomical research facility.