Govt Spills Plan about Building Rocket Launch Site in East Indonesia

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  • A Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster carrying the satellites of British firm OneWeb, blasts off from a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia December 18, 2020.  Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

    A Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster carrying the satellites of British firm OneWeb, blasts off from a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia December 18, 2020. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia on Wednesday said there had been formal and informal talks about plans to construct a rocket launch site in Indonesia. But he was tight-lipped about who or what company is behind the potential investment.

    “Related to the plans of establishing a rocket launch pad, we honestly have formal and informal talks that have not been publicized. We ask for more time to clear it,” said Bahlil in a video conference on February 24. 

    The potential location for the rocket launch site is on eastern Indonesia.

    The Indonesian government previously had reportedly offered an American aerospace firm SpaceX to construct a rocket launch site in Biak, Papua. However, a government representative from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Hario Seto, said the future of this plan still awaits confirmation from Elon Musk and his team.

    Moreover, Seto said the government is still focused on reaching out Elon Musk’s EV-focused company Tesla to invest in Indonesia. He claimed that a formal proposal had been produced by the automotive manufacturer focused on lithium batteries and large-scale electrical storage systems. 

    “We are currently focused on ESS, batteries, and EVs. Starlink and SpaceX are awaiting for Elon’s [approval],” he said on Friday, February 5. “Our plan does involve offering SpaceX a location in Biak. But we are still focused on the aforementioned aspects.”

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