14 Nov 2019

Indonesia plans spaceport in West Papua

9:52 am on 14 November 2019

Indonesia has announced plans to construct its first spaceport in West Papua.

The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 (Moon Chariot 2), with on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-mark III-M1), launches at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state, on July 22, 2019.

File photo. Photo: ARUN SANKAR / AFP

An official with the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space said the site would be in Biak island, with plans for a test launch in 2024.

Citing the Kompas newspaper, the Jakarta Post quoted Robertus Heru Trijahyanto as saying Biak regency's vast area made it an ideal location.

The institute's head, Thomas Djamaluddin, said the spaceport would be supported by international partnerships.

In 2006, Russia signed an agreement to use Biak as a blast-off site for satellites, but it never eventuated.