By Murray Murchison
With indigenous elders, the peanut lobby and environmentalist groups on side, the long proposed Tolga Spaceport looks like it might finally go ahead. If it finally get the rubber stamp from federal regulators, the port, depicted in an artist’s impression above, will be constructed on 65 hectares to the east of the township.
The architect of the project, South African born entrepreneur Johan ‘Jaapie’ Bezuidenhout (below), has high confidence that the deal will go through. “It’s a great location for a launch facility,” he declared. “The altitude, stable atmosphere, and latitude are just the ticket. And there’s lots of tradies up here to do the digging.”
Mr Bezuidenhout has brokered the deal between the North Queensland Government, Aurecon and SpaceX. He has used his personal relationship with Elon ‘Hands’ Musk, CTO of SpaceX, to advantage.
“I played rugby against Hands and Kimbal back in his Waterkloof days,” said Mr Bezuidenhout. “The one thing I remember was that Hands couldn’t tackle and couldn’t catch. Whenever we played them, the coach told us to ‘kick it to Hands’. He’d always fucking knock it on. It was fucking funny. Well, he’s stopped dropping the ball now, hasn’t he?”
SpaceX completed a successful launch from the same launch pad used by NASA for the famous moon-shot fifty years ago. The Stage 1 booster of the Falcon rocket was successfully landed at Cape Canaveral about eight minutes later.