Thailand's United Communications has taken a 50% stake in a plan to build a satellite-launch centre at Gunn Point, north-east of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The company will purchase an interest in Australia's Space Transportation Systems to work on an $8 million feasibility study to build the A$630 ($500 million) commercial spaceport, primarily for Russian Proton boosters. Flights to equatorial geostationary transfer orbit will have the advantage of the site's proximity to the equator, which will increase the rocket's commercial communications-satellite payload capability. The Australian Government has pledged A$126 million to improve the Northern Territory's infrastructure, if the launch-centre project proceeds.

Source: Flight International