Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Woomera, South Australia
- This article is about the Australian village. For the Australian Aboriginal weapon, see woomera.
Next to the village is the 'Woomera Prohibited Area' (WPA), a military area 127,000 square km in area; it is about the same size as England, making it the largest testing area in the world. The area has been used since the 1950s for joint Australia-United Kingdom weapons and aerospace testing (including testing of nuclear weapons). It was also home to the Nurrungar satellite ground station (closed in 1999, activities moved to Pine Gap) which was thought to be part of the global ECHELON intelligence gathering network.
Although many sounding rockets were launched from Woomera only two satellites were launched there successfully. These satellites were the British satellite Prospero in 1971 and the Australian Wresat in 1967. Nowadays most pads at Woomera are abandonded, but there are still launches of sounding rockets.
From 1999 to 2003, the nearby Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, held asylum seekers and refugees.
- British nuclear tests at Maralinga (part of the Woomera Prohibited Area)
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