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Fleet Space signs with rideshare provider Spaceflight for first launches


Adelaide-based Fleet Space Technologies has contracted US rideshare provider Spaceflight for the launch of its first two nanosatellites later this year.


The first nanosatellite, Centauri I, will use an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle controlled by Antrix, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation.


Centauri II will launch on Spaceflight's SSO-A mission, which will be part of a small satellite launch on a Space X Falcon 9 launcher from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the second half of 2018. Fleet Space Technologies co-founder and CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said the first satellite launch would allow it to cover 90% of the Earth as it moves to establish a global network for IoT sensors and devices.


“It’s a huge milestone to have secured our first satellite launches with incredible organisations. We’re thrilled to work alongside some of the world’s leading space innovators to help transform industries down on Earth,” she said. Fleet's nanosatellites weigh less than 10kg and are about the size of a shoebox.


Over the coming years it wants to create a constellation that can provide IoT connectivity to a range of industries including agriculture, mining, and logistics. The company is already undertaking a variety of pilot projects to develop the technology, with applications ranging from precision agriculture and virtual fences to maritime logistics and mining.


Earlier this year it teamed up with the University of Tasmania and sensor network Sense-T for a trial of precision farming technology. Curt Blake, president of Seattle-based Spaceflight, said the company was looking forward to helping Fleet reach its goals.


“We’re seeing some very ambitious and innovative space startups born in Australia, and Fleet Space Technologies is no exception,” he said. Spaceflight has also recently announced a partnership with Rocket Lab to use its New Zealand launch facilities for three upcoming launches. Geoff Long, Commsday

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