SEVEN SISTERS – Australia’s First Lunar Exploration Mission
Unveiled today after a year in stealth mode, SEVEN SISTERS: the Australian Lunar Exploration Mission to send nanosatellites and sensors to the Moon to search for accessible water and resources, supporting NASA’s Artemis Program.
Led by a world-class team of space, industry and research leaders, Fleet Space Technologies, OZ Minerals, University of Adelaide, UNSW, Unearthed, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. and Fugro are already developing advanced technologies that will transform space exploration.
Inspired by the ancient story of the Seven Sisters, the star cluster known as the Seven Sisters, or the Pleiades, represents an important story of seven sisters in both Aboriginal star dreaming stories and in Ancient Greek mythology. The Seven Sisters were the companions of Artemis, and this name was chosen as Australia embarks on a companion mission to NASA’s Artemis Program.
“We are thrilled to launch our mission utilising the best of Australia’s capabilities.” Fleet Space CEO, Flavia Tata Nardini says. “It is critical that Australia supports NASA’s Artemis Program with high-maturity systems. Our satellites are already in space and our consortium members have proven capabilities in the most demanding environments on Earth. We are ready!”
A key goal of the SEVEN SISTERS Program is to secure Australia’s place as a specialist leader in space exploration by 2030. This inspirational, high-impact Australian mission will leverage the existing private investment in Australian space technology, as well as Australia’s core strengths in remote operations, communications and exploration. Developing an exceptionally strong Australian space sector will create thousands of high-technology jobs along the way. “This is the space race Australia can win. Ultimately we are seeking footholds on these new worlds,” says SEVEN SISTERS Mission Director Matt Pearson. “In-situ resource utilisation is key to having permanent bases on the Moon, Mars and beyond.”
SEVEN SISTERS is developing new resource exploration techniques for Earth, the Moon and Mars. These tools will help NASA identify viable deposits of water and other resources more efficiently. Ultimately, this work will underpin further exploration throughout our solar system. Using massive arrays of sensors on the lunar surface to generate rich images of subsurface water and mineralisation, Artemis will be equipped with the data it needs to make prudent decisions ahead of robotic and human exploration.
“Australia is a world leader in mining engineering research and automation. It has the largest resources companies and it makes a lot of sense for our young space industry to concentrate on an area of Australian strength. The SEVEN SISTERS mission offers a real opportunity to leverage strong Australian technology to promote human endeavours on the moon.” says Professor Andrew Dempster, Director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER).
To find out more visit the SEVEN SISTERS website at https://www.7sisters.com.au/.