As the US Government sends out mixed, often contradictory, signals to allies and opponents, more countries are hedging with research into components maybe for future nuclear capabilities. For example Japan has long been developing and using the 1,500kg payload Epsilon rocket (see context).
Now Australia and Singapore may be entering the beginnings (in 2 decades?) of nuclear (payload) capable rocket development. Multi-stage rockets of sufficient size and range provide dual civilian/military possibilities.
Rocket engine tests, launch pads and test flights are not possible in Singapore's extremely limited
721.5 km2 land area, in which 5.612 million people are crowded. The sea around Singapore, crowded with ships, is also ill-suited to be a test range.
In contrast Australia has used its wide open spaces to test rockets for decades at RAAF Woomera Range Complex, South Australia. Some Australians have also suggested Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia, as a potential launch site. Cape York is better suited in terms of Earth rotational physics and avoiding populated areas. This is because Cape York is nearer the Equator and rockets can be fired easterly and more safely over the Coral Sea.
Gilmour Space March 2018: 70 kN of thrust (15,700 lbs) generated in what could be the world's largest successful test fire of a single-port hybrid rocket engine. The test was held in Australia.
May 29, 2018
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