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Adelaide to host satellite mission control centre


South Australian taxpayers will contribute $500,000 to the establishment of an Adelaide mission control centre for nanosatellites.

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In the latest of a spate of announcements about the future jobs fund, the Government said today that local company, Fleet Space Technologies, would match the taxpayer funding for the project, which is expected to create 17 ongoing jobs.

The “Mission Control South Australia” project will more than double Fleet’s staff numbers.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the grant meant the company could build and run the mission control centre in Adelaide using local employees who would staff the centre 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fleet is a growing SA company which aims to launch a “constellation” of 100 nanosatellites – each measuring 30cm x 30cm x 40cm – beginning later this year.

The satellites would be part of the technology powering the “Internet of Things” – the concept of connecting devices, beyond the expected computers and smartphones, to the internet.  The technology could be applied to tasks such as tracking livestock movements, supply chain logistics, mining industries or monitoring the environment.

Fleet CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said the company wanted to “put South Australia on the map as a space hub”.

“While we have global ambitions, it is important to us that we continue to contribute to our local economy as we scale,” she said. “This grant enables us to create technical jobs that will grow the space industry here in Adelaide.”

She said the company had hired 20 people in the past nine months and it would be hiring many more.

Having mission control in South Australia was an important step, she said. Without this project, the satellite constellation would have been controlled from overseas.

The control centre would undertake the complicated task of tracking satellites to ensure they were in the correct positions, monitoring data and ensuring customers were receiving and sending the right data.

Koutsantonis said the project would “strengthen South Australia’s burgeoning space industry and attract the best and brightest to our state”.

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