March launch for nanosatellite to assist mining communications

By on 23 February, 2021

Fleet Space Technologies satellite

South Australian company Fleet Space Technologies is set to launch its fifth nanosatellite, Centauri 3 in March aboard Rocket Lab’s They Go Up So Fast mission, taking off from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

The company says Centauri 3 is its fifth and most advanced Commercial Nanosatellite to go to orbit, adding to its planned 140 strong constellation. The constellation will  provide global satellite connectivity for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The commercial nanosatellite’s communication payload has been developed in-house by the Fleet Space team of engineers, and boasts a huge 119x improvement in data capacity from the previous Centauri 2 payload. The payload on Centauri 3 is roughly the size of a shoe box and weighs 2.9kg, and total satellite weight is 11.3kg.

The newly designed 6U nanosatellite will join Fleet Space’s constellation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at 550 km, which is powering a global network of connected devices deployed across the globe. These devices are revolutionising the resource and mining industries, as well as providing technologies for Earth, Moon and Mars through their SEVEN SISTERS moon mission in 2023, to search for abundant, accessible water, in support of NASA’s Artemis Program.

Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said: “It is an extraordinary day for Fleet Space as we launch our fifth commercial nanosatellite, our most advanced payload yet. Global critical infrastructure is challenged by asset remoteness, and requires secure two-way communications as well as the ability to remotely manage assets. Fleet Space has worked for many years to create these world-first features that underpin the real internet from space for things, putting the company as a leader in critical infrastructure IoT management around the world.”

“Our Centauri 3 carries our 25th payload manufactured by Fleet Space, and it is our most advanced generation yet, representing the beginning of volume manufacturing of space hardware in South Australia that will lead to a constellation of 140 nanosatellites.”

This is the second launch in which Fleet Space has used Rocket Lab, which previously launched its Proxima I and Proxima II in 2018 from Mahia in New Zealand. Rocket Lab is a leading space systems company and launch provider dedicated to small satellite launches, and this latest launch is scheduled to lift-off from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula in mid-March. Named They Go Up So Fast, this mission will be Rocket Lab’s 19th Electron launch, and 100th overall.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said: “We’re delighted to be delivering tailored access to orbit for our customers once again, many of whom have previously launched on Electron. With Photon, and likewise with the Kick Stage, we’re able to give our customers an unmatched level of control over their orbital insertion, even when flying as a rideshare,” he said.

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