Ground control to Pinkerton

AN Adelaide-based space technology start-up has made Red Banks Reservoir in Pinkerton Plains the site of its newest ground control station.

Fleet Space Technologies unveiled “Mission Control South Australia” on Friday, the first major project to be unveiled since the establishment of the Australian Space Agency.

The station will complement mission control systems next to Fleet’s South Australian headquarters in Beverley.

Fleet chief executive Flavia Tata Nardini said she knew it was ambitious for a start-up to build the station.

“The ground station will break barriers for space start-ups locally and abroad, creating opportunities that were previously only available to large organisations,” she said.

“The ground station launch cements our commitment to driving quicker access to data to help transform billion-dollar industries from precision agriculture on isolated rural farms in Tasmania, to maritime monitoring in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and food supply chain management in Asia.”

The station will allow Fleet to monitor data from nanosatellites orbiting the Earth and will be available for use by other companies and the new Australian Space Agency.

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark, congratulated Fleet for “achieving such an important milestone”.

“This ground station is an example of some of the great space-related activities under way in Australia,” she said.

The start-up, which also has offices in California and the Netherlands, has plans to launch its own satellites later this year.

Construction of the station started only six months ago and was a joint project between Fleet and Italian company Leafspace.