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Italy’s SITAEL To Open Australian HQ In Adelaide

SITAEL’s headquarters in Italy. Photograph courtesy of SITAEL.

Italy’s largest private satellite manufacturer, SITAEL, is set to open its Australian headquarters on 1 July 2018 outside of Adelaide, South Australia, further cementing SA’s position as Australia’s premier New Space hub.

SITAEL plans to develop satellites and payloads from 50kg up to 300kg, space missions, and a range of other space technologies. It will open its Australian headquarters at Mawson Lakes, South Adelaide.

Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, said that SITAEL is leading the development of next-generation small satellites. “SITAEL’s move into Adelaide will create hi-tech jobs for South Australians … and strengthen our state’s reputation as a leader in space innovation and technology development,” he said, in a report in the Adelaide Advertiser. “We are focused on building our thriving space industry to make it a key contributor to the growth and diversification of SA’s economy.”

SITAEL chief executive officer Nicola Zaccheo told the Advertiser that Australia has a huge growth opportunity. “SA in particular is an ideal environment to develop innovative new ideas,” he said.

Premier Marshall is aiming for South Adelaide to take a leading role in National Space Agency headquarters, opening on the same day. The agency will officially begin as an administrative operation in Canberra while its chief Dr. Megan Clark assesses the states’ space capabilities to decide on a permanent base or bases. South Adelaide expressed its interest for the headquarters last year, while NSW, Victoria and WA have all recently made their interests known.

The former Labor Government signed a “letter of intent” with the Italian Space Agency in 2016 and the ISA head Roberto Battiston said that they intended to work closely with the Australian agency. SITAEL is also set to work with South Adelaide satellite company Inovor Technologies.

The Advertiser also reported on the release of a major report about Australia’s role in space, published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, ahead of their recent space strategy conference. The report, compiled by a range of experts and politicians including Space Minister Michaelia Cash, explains the need for Australia to have a bigger role in the U.S.$345 billion global space industry.

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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Say YES to diversity and gender equality in the space sector: a look at the Diversity and Gender Equality Project Group of the SGAC

Diversity is difficult to measure and quantify, given all the aspects and shapes it takes, yet it is easy to witness and observe the lack of it in many fields including the space sector. If the space sector and all its disciplines should be used to help improve life on earth and observe it (amongst other purposes), shouldn't it be represented by all terrestrial individuals equally? In an ideal world, yes! But history and social biases have prevented our progress towards this perfect world, and we find ourselves today with a space sector still dominated by cis white-male individuals.