23 Mar 2012

The Rocket

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:10 pm on 23 March 2012

In just over 4 hours, a hut near Invercargill will become the centre of the universe for a team of scientists tracking the flight of an Ariane 5 rocket on its way to the International Space Station. The Awarua station is in the Southland countryside, between Invercargill and Bluff. The European Space Agency needed a place to track rockets launched from French Guiana. Awarua proved the ideal place. The Space Agency paid for the centre in Awarura , and it was , built by Venture Southland in 2008. Venture Southland enterprise projects manager Robin McNeill is a rocket scientist himself and he will be there at the Awarua Tracking Centre to watch the rocket go past.