South Australian government to throw AU$20m at new Australian Space Park

Together with Fleet Space Technologies, Q-CTRL, ATSpace, and Alauda Aeronautics, the South Australian government will develop a new dedicated space manufacturing hub.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

South Australia is set to gain what will be a dedicated space manufacturing hub called the Australian Space Park.

The hub will be developed by the South Australian government, which will invest AU$20 million into the park, in partnership with a consortium of space manufacturing companies -- Fleet Space Technologies, Q-CTRL, ATSpace, and Alauda Aeronautics.

All four companies will collocate in the facility to collaborate and produce small satellites, rockets, electrical vertical take-off and land vehicles, and support componentry and technical systems.

"The creation of the Australian Space Park signals our commitment to the South Australian and Australian space sector by bridging the gap between research and development and prototyping to production at scale," South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said.

"It is fantastic to have four amazing companies partner with the South Australian government on this initiative, with Fleet Space Technologies, Q-CTRL who we welcome to our state as they expand their Australian presence beyond New South Wales, ATSpace -- a brand new Australian company, and Alauda Aeronautics partnering and co-investing in the Australian Space Park to further develop the space value chain to meet the needs of satellite and rocket manufacturers."

Q-CTRL hopes to use the hub as an opportunity to develop new forms of satellite using the company's quantum technology.

"In the Space Park, our team will be building satellite payloads that take the core quantum sensing hardware we've developed and ensure it's space-qualified for launch to orbit," Q-CTRL CEO Michael Biercuk said. 

"What excites us the most about the space sector right now is the way that companies like mine that have never had access to space all of a sudden have the ability to take our core technology to orbit to the Moon and Mars."

Adelaide Airport has been identified by the industry consortium as an ideal location for the Australian Space Park due to its proximity to traditional aerospace companies, the central business district, and the state's innovation precinct, Lot Fourteen. Discussions with Adelaide Airport to confirm the site remains ongoing, the state government said.

The state government's commitment to boost the local space sector follows its AU$6.5 million SASAT1 space mission announced at the start of this year that will see the state launch its own small satellite into low orbit in 2022.

Satellite manufacturing company Inovor Technologies will also be involved in the project and has been charged with designing and building the satellite.

When launched, the satellite will be used to support the improvement of state emergency, environment, water monitoring, and bushfire mitigation service over three years to 2024.

The move to bolster the South Australian space sector goes head-to-head with the New South Wales government's plan to do the same in its state. In July, Sydney's Tech Central was named as the home for the new AU$2 million National Space Industry Hub that will be established.

The hub will house both the Space Industry Association of Australia and the New South Wales node of the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, and it will be operated by Sydney-based incubator Cicada Innovations.

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