You must have a permit to launch a space object from an Australian launch facility, Australian aircraft or foreign aircraft in Australian airspace. The permit may also authorise a connected return.

A space object is:

  • an object (or any part of that object) which is to go into or come back from an area beyond the distance of 100 km above mean sea level; or
  • any part of that object, even if that part is to go only some of the way towards or back from an area beyond the distance of 100 km above mean sea level.

Australian launch permit application guidelines

These guidelines provide detailed information on how to apply for an Australian launch permit, including application and supporting evidence requirements.

Application overview

The application process consists of four key stages:

1. Expression of interest

2. Application plan workshop

3. Application assessment

4. Ministerial decision.

 

Expression of interest

You submit an expression of interest form through the Regulatory Applications Hub.

We’ll review your expression of interest and then schedule an application plan workshop once we have sufficient information to proceed.

NOTE: initiating your expression of interest is not an application submission, you will need to provide further documents

Application plan workshop

During this workshop we:

  • establish the status of your application
  • develop a shared understanding of application requirements that need to be met
  • set and agree application and assessment timeframes
  • clarify roles and responsibilities
  • establish principles for how we engage throughout the application and assessment process.

After the workshop we will provide you with a copy of a customised form and an application plan which will help guide you through the remaining stages of the application process.

Application assessment

You provide completed modules in line with your application plan.

We commence assessment of your modules, meet with you to clarify information, and provide feedback on progress.

We will consult with federal, state and territory authorities to see if there is any reason, including relating to Australian security, defence, or international relations, why a launch facility licence should not be granted.

We then make recommendations to the Minister (or their delegate).

Ministerial decision

The Minister (or delegate) decides whether to grant the launch facility licence, taking into consideration advice from the Agency.

The Minister has discretion to seek further information from applicants and launch facility licence holders.

Debris mitigation strategy

You must have a debris mitigation strategy if you are launching a space object from Australia.

Your strategy needs to outline how you will manage the risk of debris (intentional or unintentional) generated during the lifetime of your space activity. It must:
- Identify and use an internationally recognised guideline or standard for debris mitigation.

  • For example, the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space or the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee’s (IADC) Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines.
  • Describe your mitigation measures for orbital debris arising from the proposed launch.
  • Include an orbital debris assessment, including a statistical assessment of the probability of collision over the life of the space object and probability of ground impact (should any part of a space object survive re-entry)

More information can be found in the Australian launch permit application guidelines.

Before you apply, download and read the Australian launch permit guidelines.

You should then complete and submit an expression of interest form providing supporting materials demonstrating your progress against the application requirements.

Once we receive your expression of interest, we will contact you to discuss your application and schedule an application plan workshop once we have sufficient information. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your plans and have any questions answered. We can also provide more information about the application and assessment process.

There are no fees for applying for an Australian launch permit, or for having your application assessed.

Your application must satisfy the Minister that:

  • the person who is to carry out the launch or launches, and any connected return, is competent to do so.
  • the insurance/financial requirements will be satisfied for the launch or launches, and any connected return.
  • the probability that the launch or launches, or any connected return, will cause substantial harm to public health or public safety, or cause substantial damage to property is as low as is reasonably practicable.
  • the space object or objects concerned are not and do not contain a nuclear weapon or a weapon of mass destruction of any other kind.
  • there are no reasons relevant to the security, defence or international relations of Australia why the permit should not be granted.
  • the proposed launch vehicle is as effective and safe as is reasonably practicable, having regard to the purpose of the launch.
  • the flight path for each launch is as effective and safe as is reasonably practicable, having regard to the purpose of the launch, the design of the launch vehicle and the launch safety standards in the Flight Safety Code
  • the risk hazard analysis for each launch and any connected return is consistent with the Flight Safety Code
  • there is adequate planning to address the environmental impacts of the launch or launches and any connected return.

We estimate it will take approximately 6 months to assess your application, however, assessment timeframes will be discussed and agreed as part of your application plan workshop.

Following the workshop we provide an application plan that clearly outlines agreed timeframes.

If we find key information missing or inaccurate, or not at an appropriate level of detail we will discuss with you and agree revised timeframes to submit additional information. This may impact overall assessment timeframes.

We may also request additional information relating to your application.

Apply for an Australian launch permit

The following guidelines provide detailed information on how to apply for a launch facility licence, including application and supporting evidence requirements.

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.