Monday, 01 March 2021 21:34

Aussie ‘Space Taxi’ to deploy Australian fire detection satellite as first passenger

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Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company, reports signing a customer agreement to deploy Fireball.International’s "innovative bushfire detection satellite" into its final orbit on board Space Machines Company’s orbital transport, Optimus-1 in 2022.

Space Machines Company. It's an Australian start-up that is developing "in-space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired low earth orbits (LEO), geostationary earth orbits (GEO) and Lunar orbits".

Meanwhile, Fireball.International, also Australian, says it "provides automated bushfire detection and tracking in Australia and foreign markets including the US", with space-based monitoring of fires cutting "time from ignition to detection of fires to under three minutes."

Space Machines Company notes its earlier announcement that its launch agreement with Gilmour Space Technologies will put Optimus-1 into space.

Fireball.International Co-Founder and CEO Christopher Tylor said that having Australian based launch and in-space transport capabilities is a significant benefit for their business.

“Not having to look overseas for launch and in-space transport capabilities reduces cost and complexity for Fireball.International, which translates to better fire protection at a lower cost for Australia.”

Space Machines Company’s ‘Space Taxi’ carries passenger satellites to their desired orbits around Earth, or higher bodies like the Moon or Mars. This provides customers with a cost-effective way to get their satellites into final orbits. Space Machines vehicles are compatible with major launch providers.

Space Machines Company founder and CEO Rajat Kulshrestha said that the deal was an important step in strengthening Australia’s defence against extreme weather events.

“We are proud to enable this vital and pioneering Australian space technology deployment.

“The fact that three Australian companies are joining to accomplish this vital mission is evidence of a growing sovereign industrial capability in space technology in our country.

“Space technology has vital real-world applications, and it’s important for Australia as a country to build and own the technology that allows us to explore the possibilities space offers - from deep research for our scientists to ventures like this that will make us more resilient against extreme weather events.”


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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