Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA), owner and operator of Australia’s leading spaceport, the Arnhem Space Centre (ASC), today announced ex-Apple executive and Royal Australian Air Force Navigator/Intelligence Officer, Travis Marshall, as its new Head of Business Development. The appointment strengthens the company’s senior commercial team as it expands its horizons towards wider commercial and Defence space opportunities.

The newly created role will be pivotal in developing customised launch contracts including launch, engine testing, payload and mission management, mission planning and consultation for Defence and international newspace commercial rocket companies looking to launch from the Arnhem Space Centre.

Group CEO and Executive Chairman of Equatorial Launch Australia, Michael Jones, welcomed Travis to the team saying, “As ELA continues its schedule of discussions with international rocket launchers, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Travis to help drive that process and to ensure we fill out our immediate launch schedule as well as preparing for the next five to ten years of launches from the spaceport.”

“Additionally, Travis will hold the remit to expand our horizons into defence where we are uniquely positioned to provide sovereign infrastructure and capabilities that contribute to Australia’s access to space,” said Mr Jones.

Having been based in Singapore as Senior Business Development Manager of Education with Apple for the past six years, Travis cited the achievements of ELA as the primary reason for his move into the sector. “With my background in technology and Defence, the space industry has long been an area that I wanted to transition into, and ELA stood out as an exciting opportunity. We are on track to deliver more commercial launch contracts by the end of the year, and I am excited to be able to assist in this key endeavour.”

The growing groundswell of interest in the Australian Space sector as well as the recent announcement of the signing of the Technology Safeguards Agreement are also collectively helping ELA to secure exceptional talent. “Hiring exceptional talent is how you build exceptional businesses,” added Mr Jones.
ELA has grown significantly since its three successful launches with NASA in 2022, and attention is now focussed on developing the Arnhem Space Centre as a multi-user commercial spaceport as well as a key piece of infrastructure in Australia’s sovereign space Defence capability.

Travis is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School and the Defence Intelligence Training Centre. He conducted several operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, with his final deployment serving as the Chief of Key Leadership Engagement based in Kandahar.

ELA is on track to be the pre-eminent multi-user commercial space launch company providing testing, launch and recovery of space vehicles and payloads flown to and from all space orbits. The Arnhem Space Centre, in East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia is located 12 degrees south of the equator, offering rocket companies and their payload customers multiple orbit options, operational freedom and simplicity for their launch and mission design.

Travis homebase will be at ELA’s headquarters at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide with extensive travel to the Arnhem Space Centre in East Arnhem Land, Canberra and internationally to meet with clients in their hometowns.