11 Jan 2010

Tonga in talks with US company over Eua rocket launch project

2:46 pm on 11 January 2010

Tonga's government has restarted consultations with U.S. engineers on a project to build a rocket launch site on Eua.

The Editor of Matangi Tonga Online, Pesi Fonua, says the plan was first raised in the late 1990s but was shelved when the company needed more funds.

He says U.S. rocket engineer Roderick Milliron of Interorbital Systems now wants to start building the pad by July, with the first rocket launch to take place at the end of the year.

Mr Fonua says while there are still concerns over its environmental impact, the development is exciting for the Kingdom.

"These people have been trying to do it for quite some time but now they're setting tentatively a programme to start building a launching pad for July, June and launch the rocket before the end of the year, November, December."

Pesi Fonua.