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Space meet mooted

THE Federal Government will meet with the Australian proponents of an $800 million commercial space launch port on Christmas Island in the next few weeks to dicuss the project’s future.

The Government has said it will provide $100 million to assist the proponents with their plans – provided the centre goes ahead.

There has been speculation that APSC will not be able to secure the funding to make the project a reality and that it has been trying to sell earthmoving equipment .

An ASPC spokesman denied selling any equipment and said the company was still on track to commencing construction of the plant.

“APSC is in the business of selling launch services, and is not selling off any equipment,” he said.

“It is progressing discussions with investors and we are confident that construction of the Christmas Island spaceport will commence in the near future.”

ASPC hopes to launch its first test satellite by the middle of this year, using a Russian launch vehicle.

Talks between the Australian and Russian governments have been prolonged, however, Australia’s ambassador to Russia Leslie Rowe told WA Business News late last year that the two were close to finalising agreements.

Federal Territories Minister Ian Campbell said he wanted to discuss the future of the space project with ASPC managing director David Kwon soon.

Of the $100 million government assistance money, $68.5 million has been designated to go towards the island’s infrastructure needs.

However, only $18 million of that money will be spent if the space centre goes ahead.

 

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