EFESydney, Australia

NASA on Monday carried out a "historic" first rocket launch from a commercial spaceport outside the United States in a remote region of northern Australia.

The BBIC rocket, marking the first commercial space launch in Australia’s history, is the first of three that will travel to space to carry out astrophysical studies and observe the AlphaCentauri A and B constellations, said Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA), owner and operator of the Arnhem Space Center in the Northern Territory.

The rocket took off at midnight local time (15:00 GMT Sunday) carrying an atmospheric observation/sensing platform and will travel more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) into space.