Australian space startup Fleet Space Technologies has its first satellites in orbit.
After building and signing a launch contract for its Proxima I and II satellites within six weeks, the successful blastoff at Launch Complex-1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula yesterday represented a huge step forward for Fleet.
“It is an incredible milestone,” Flavia Tata Nardini, Fleet’s co-founder and CEO, said.
The company was founded in South Australia in 2015 and has a mission to build “Earth’s digital nervous system” by powering the Internet of Things revolution and helping bring 75 billion devices online.
“This is the first launch of many scheduled for us at Fleet Space Technologies, with our next nanosatellites, Centauri I and II, onboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and ISRO’s mission PSLV C43 in the coming weeks,” Nardini said.
“It is an extraordinary feat to have four satellites launching in one month on three separate missions.”
Here’s the moment. You can see a couple of CubeSats deployed right at the end:
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) November 11, 2018
Fleet’s first launch happened all in a rush after New Zealand’s Rocket Lab announced its mission dubbed “It’s Business Time” after several test flights earlier this year.
Fleet’s satellites were one of seven payloads aboard the Electron rocket headed for Low Earth Orbit.
“The world is waking up to the new normal,” Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said. “With the Electron launch vehicle, rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites.”
Fleet can now say it owns Australia’s first ever commercial CubeSats in orbit.
“Rocket Lab moved rapidly to help us make this a reality extremely quickly — everything from licensing to assisting with complete integration all happened faster than could have been anticipated,” Nardini said.
“Our next steps are to monitor the satellites to ensure they connect, and then secure frequencies.
“This is a huge step not just for the space industry, but also for industries like farming, mining, logistics and maritime who are closer than ever to having a satellite-based IoT network readily available to transform their businesses.”