The proposed Darwin launch site..





The limitations of the Woomera launch site became apparent when it was proposed to adapt the Europa launcher to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit. This was to be done with 2 supplementary solid fuel rocket motors - the so called Perigee Apogee System or PAS.

Not only was Woomera too far south from the equator, but the launch corridors were very restricted in direction. Hence it was decided to transfer operations to an equatorial site. The sites considered were Kourou in South America, Darwin in Australia, and the Seychelles.

The Seychelles were rejected on the grounds of lack of infra structure. Darwin did have an exisiting deep water port. However, since France was by now becoming the dominant partner, the South American site was chosen.

The decision led to the withdrawal of Australia from ELDO.


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