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Southern Space – 17 June 2022

Jun 17, 2022


Southern Space – 17 June 2022

Southern Space is a weekly newsletter produced by SIAA to inform the Australian space industry.

Industry News

Rideshare Opportunity on JP9102 Bid: SIAA Foundation member Lockheed Martin has boosted its JP9102 bid and announced a new ‘Hosted Missions Program’. The program, created in partnership with SIAA member Inovor Technologies, will offer small Australian satellite missions a slot on the JP9102 launch vehicle by either augmenting the JP9102 satellite or utilising empty space on the rocket.

Construction begins on WA Deep Space Antenna: the ESA and Australian Space Agency will build the New Norcia deep space tracking station north east of Perth.  The Minister for Industry and Science described the project as “creating economic and job opportunities for local contractors, as well as a lure to reverse the brain drain and bring home our best and brightest” with $29 million awarded to Australian contractors from the total $70 million project. The antenna will be operational in 2025.

Australia-India Space Collaboration: Last week the Australian Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) held a virtual meeting to further collaboration. Talks discussed the possible establishment of ISRO ground stations in Australia to provide satellite data reception and monitor the range and integrity of Indian navigation satellites. Both countries also proposed the organisation of a joint workshop to promote greater interaction between Indian and Australian space industry. These proposals follow previous announcements that Australia would support India’s Garganyaan human spaceflight mission by tracking the spacecraft from a temporary ground station on Cocos Keeling Islands.

ESA and NASA Cooperation: The space agencies have announced two new joint agreements including; a Framework for a Strategic Partnership in Earth System Science and a MOU to cooperate around the Lunar Pathfinder. ESA is an anchor customer of the Lunar Pathfinder, with NASA agreeing to arrange launch. Through the partnership NASA will have access to the Lunar Pathfinder’s communications services and both space agencies will undertake a joint navigation experiment with the spacecraft. ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker, noted that the MOU between NASA and the ESA is “empowering sustainable lunar exploration while supporting commercial European businesses”.

Mars Sample Return: NASA and the ESA have jointly established a new group of 16 researchers to provide science resources to the campaign’s teams and provide sample recovery and curation. The Mars Sample Return Campaign Science Group consist of researchers from the US, UK, Europe, Canada and Japan “will be the standard-bearers for Mars Sample Return Science”, according to NASA’s Mars Exploration Program lead scientist Michael Meyer.

Radiation Shielding for Satellites: Fleet Space Technologies have selected Melbourne-based metal additive manufacturer Titomic to provide radiation shielding for its Alpha satellites. Titomic’s fusion technology will use a cold spray additive manufacturing and coating process to protect Fleet’s 3D printed satellites from deterioration caused by radiation exposure.

US LEO Military Constellation: SIAA Foundation member Northrop Grumman has announced the completion of a successful ground demonstration of laser terminals with partners Mynaric and Innoflight. The laser terminals will be used as part of the SDA’s Transport Layer communications network, with the terminals able to undertake high-rate encryption and decryption across an optical link.

OneWeb and SpaceX Resolve Spectrum Coordination Issues: OneWeb and SpaceX have developed a spectrum coordination plan that ensures the coexistence of both companies planned mega constellations. Both companies have written to the US Federal Communications Commission to retract previous spectrum coordination issues previously filed against each other.

NASA’s GLIDE Spacecraft: Ball Aerospace has selected SIAA member Rocket Lab to manufacture the Solar Array Panel that will be used by NASA’s Global Lyman-Alpha Imager of Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) Spacecraft. GLIDE will launch with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s heliophysics mission, a spacecraft also constructed by Ball Aerospace and powered by Rocket Lab.

Commercial Human Spaceflight Training Centre: Sierra Space will create an astronaut training program at the Kennedy Space Center, to train individuals as professional astronauts, research specialist astronauts and experiential (or space tourist) astronauts. Created in conjunction with the development of Sierra Space’s crewed Dream Chaser vehicle and commercial space station, the training centre will be led by former NASA astronaut and president of Sierra Space, Janet Kavandi. The selection process for training will begin in 2023.

Artemis 1 Moon Rocket Test: NASA’s first Space Launch Systems (SLS) mega rocket will begin a three-day fuelling test on 18 June. The rocket is scheduled to launch the first stage of the Artemis 1 mission which will see the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will orbit the moon for 6 days before returning to Earth.

Military Payload Hosting: The US Space Development Agency is looking to acquire up to 10 satellites to host military payloads as part of the NExT experimental testbed. The government developed payloads will conduct technology experiments in LEO.

SpaceX: Elon Musk has announced that Starship spacecraft will be ready for its first orbital flight next month. A July launch may be inhibited by SpaceX’s need to secure a launch license and make changes required following the US Federal Aviation Administration’s recent environmental review of Starship.

Industry Opportunities

India Space Research Organisation Bengaluru Space Expo

The Australian government will partner with ISRO to further Australian-Indian space engagement at the Bengaluru Space Expo in India, 5-7th September. SIAA Member companies interested in attending or speaking at this conference should register their interest by emailing by 28th June.

Pitch your Organisation: Robotics and Automation on Earth and in Space Roadmap webinar

The Australian Space Agency is taking expressions of interest from Australian space industry, academia and research organisations to present their organisation at the upcoming Robotics and Automation on Earth and in Space Roadmap (R&A Roadmap) public webinar. The webinar will feature organisations working in the areas of robotics, remote operations, resources and interoperability to help facilitate industry showcasing and foster collaboration.

Pitch Submissions close 20 June and the webinar will take place on 23 June.

Apply here

Department of Defence Secret Cloud Services Expression of Interest

Defence has released an expression of interest for the multi-stage Defence Secret Cloud program which will establish a cloud service to host, process, analyse and disseminate Secret-level data. Defence will use received EOI’s to develop a shortlist of parties to participate in Collaborative Processes, with a request for offer expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Submit an EOI via AusTender.

Innovate to Grow Program: Free Cybersecurity R&D Support for SMEs

SIAA member CSIRO is offering R&D support to SMEs through a free 10-week course. The course pairs companies with a mentor and assists companies to develop business plans and supporting strategies. Following the course’s completion, CSIRO will offer participating SMEs ongoing facilitation support and match funding for R&D. The program is open to all companies looking to improve their cybersecurity.

Applications close 11 July. Submit an application here.

Job Opportunities

See new posts on the Southern Space Jobs Board from SIAA member Gilmour Space Technologies here.

SIAA members can advertise for free on Southern Space Jobs. For more information please contact

Upcoming Events

Canberra Space Workforce & Industry Drinks  

When: Wednesday 29th June 5 pm

Where: Capital Brewing Fyshwick

Canberra Space Drinks is an informal event that welcomes professionals across industry, government, defence and research engaged in the space industry and space-related activities.

7th Bengaluru Space Expo  

When: 5-7th September

Where: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

The Expo will showcase advanced technologies and products for the space sector, with participants from over 100 companies and organisations from across 15 countries. The three-day event will demonstrate and help further the growth of the Indian space industry.

Register for the Space Expo here.

SIAA Member Profile: Space Machines Company

Space Machines Company is an Australian in-space transportation and logistics start-up building the future of in-space transportation and logistics through its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) capability. SMC is developing technology to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired LEO, GEO and lunar orbits. The company has operations in Sydney and Adelaide, and has a wholly owned subsidiary in Bengaluru, India, to develop Research and Development activities.

Space Machines is manufacturing Australian infrastructure to support commercialised in-space service delivery at their facility within the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Tech Lab. SMC’s Australian sovereign space capability addresses the future challenge of inactive satellites and space debris, designing solutions to help Australia manage its satellites in space. SMC spacecrafts are designed to maintain, refuel, repair and decommission in orbit satellites and other spacecraft.

Last month Space Machines Company announced that it had secured SpaceX as a launch partner for its Optimus OTV, with launch planned for April 2023. SMC is also a member of the Australian Defence Industry Space Capability Alliance (ADISCA), an Australian space consortium created to collectively deliver Defence’s Sovereign Industry Capability Priorities and support the growth of the Australian space industry.

The Space Industry of Australia (SIAA)

The Space Industry of Australia is the national peak body for the space industry in Australia,
representing more than 600 members. Formed in 1992, SIAA hosted the 2017 International Astronautical
Congress in Adelaide which led to the establishment of the Australian Space Agency in 2018. SIAA and
its member companies work closely with Australian governments, international partners, academia, and
industry to advance Australia’s space industry and economy.