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NASA to launch rocket from Arnhem Land tonight

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History is in the making with American space agency NASA set to launch a rocket into the skies above east Arnhem Land tonight.

It is the first time since 1995 that a rocket will take off from Australian soil and the first time for NASA launching a commercial rocket.

NASA's rocket will take off from the red dirt at the Arnhem Space Centre outside Nhulunbuy about 11pm local time tonight.

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Those on the ground and in surrounding areas will be able to track the rocket as it makes its way through the skies, just seconds after lift-off until it exits the Earth's atmosphere.

The space centre is privately owned and operated by Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA).

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Tonight's launch will be the first of three the centre has scheduled with NASA over the next three weeks. 

But this is just the beginning, with ELA planning for up to 50 launches each year. 



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