SpaceX to visit Indonesia next month for launch site possibilities

Sounding rocket RX320. Image courtesy of LAPAN.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in a phone call with Elon Musk, has invited SpaceX to consider Indonesia as a potential space launch site for the company.

According to a press release from Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, President Joko Widodo and Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Minister of the abovementioned department, spoke with Elon Musk on a range on issues – along with the launch site, Indonesia is also interested in bringing Tesla into the country and working with Musk to use the country’s nickel reserves in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

With regards to the launch site, Musk said he will be sending a team to Indonesia in January 2021 to study the possibilities.

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Currently, Indonesia has plans to build a space port in Biak, on the island of Papua, targeting to complete it by 2024. Currently, the country, under its space agency LAPAN, is capable of developing small satellits and indigenous sounding rockets, and is working towards orbital launch vehicles. Indonesia hopes its spaceport can be used to launch its own rockets in future, and also commercialize its space port by letting private launch companies use it.


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