Woomera Prohibited Area

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Coordinates: 30 ° 50 ′ 0 ″  S , 136 ° 23 ′ 0 ″  E

Map: Australia
Woomera Prohibited Area
Warning sign on the Stuart Highway
Black Arrow , exhibited in Woomera

The Woomera Prohibited Area ( WPA for short , also Woomera prohibited area ) was a military restricted area in the Australian state of South Australia with an area of ​​127,000 km², which included the city of Woomera , from 1947 to 1982 .

Restricted area

The restricted area consisted of several individual facilities with different tasks:

  • Maralinga , a former British facility that has now been completely destroyed and was used for nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Woomera Instrumented Range , test facility for aerospace experiments
  • Woomera Airfield , military airfield
  • Evetts Field Target Area and the Range E Target Area , inert warhead firing range, d. H. those without detonators and explosive charges.
  • Parakylia Stand-Off Weapons Target Area , inert warhead shooting range
  • Lake Hart Demolition Area , blasting site for (mostly overlaid) ammunition, still in operation
  • Lake Hart Air Weapons Range , shooting range for live air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and occasionally for large-caliber artillery
  • Large Scale Explosives Test Area (LSETA), blasting site for large explosive devices, also still in operation
  • DSS 41 , the first antenna of the Deep Space Network of NASA outside the US, commenced operations in February 1959 and was in operation until the year 1972

Missile tests in the Woomera Instrumented Range

There has been a rocket launch site near Woomera since 1947 . It was used to launch numerous sounding rockets (e.g. Skylark : 1957–1987) and also to test the Blue Streak medium-range missile , as well as for the (unsuccessful) attempts to launch the Europa missile in the 1960s. The only satellites successfully launched by Woomera were the Australian Wresat (now burned out) on November 29, 1967 with an American Redstone and the British Prospero on October 28, 1971 with the British Black Arrow launcher .


In 1964, before the Blue Streak rocket launches, a target area in the Great Sandy Desert was searched for people by two whites. There was an encounter with 20 Martu Aboriginal women who had never seen a white man. This encounter was filmed in the 2009 documentary Contact .

After its flight to the asteroid Itokawa , the space probe Hayabusa landed in the WPA on June 13, 2010 at 15:51 CEST.

Web links

 Wikinews: Woomera Spaceport  - in the news

Individual evidence