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Australia’s Fleet Space Technologies Taps Rocket Lab To Launch First Proxima CubeSats

Image courtesy of Fleet Space.

Australian New Space satellite communications company Fleet Space Technologies has selected U.S. commercial satellite launch company Rocket Lab to launch two Proxima small satellites from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launch complex in November 2018.

This pair of identical 1.5 U CubeSats are designed and built by Fleet. The satellites will mark the first commercial tests of Fleet’s software-defined radios, enabling it to transmit data efficiently across both S-band and L-band frequencies in space.

“To see our first commercial CubeSats launched is an incredibly important milestone for us as a business,” said Flavia Tata Nardini, Chief Executive of Fleet space Technologies. “It sets us on the path to achieving our goal of connecting Australia, and the world, in ways like never before.”

“We decided to build and launch two more satellites over the past few months and Rocket Lab has moved at the speed of light to incorporate them in this mission, assist us with licensing and complete integration in record time. We will be in space less than few months after making the decision to join the mission. This rapid turnaround time is what the space industry really needs now,” Nardini continued.

The Proxima small satellites have been added to the manifest for ‘It’s Business Time’, Rocket Lab’s mission scheduled for launch next month in November from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex-1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. The mission will launch inside Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built Maxwell dispenser.

The Proxima I and Proxima II satellites will form the beginning of a constellation of more than 100 nanosatellites which will act as a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) space network for enterprises across the world.

“We’re thrilled to add Fleet’s Proxima satellites to the It’s Business Time manifest,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab Chief Executive. “Fleet’s planned constellation of more than 100 satellites will enable greater connectivity across the globe and provide better access to data about our planet.”

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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.