4 mins read 09 Apr 2021

South Australia Students to Name New Flagship Satellite

South Australian school students have the opportunity to name the state’s first satellite in a school-based competition.

An artist’s impression of the SASAT1 satellite. Credit: Alex Priest, Inovor Technologies.

The name of South Australia’s first satellite is in the hands of the next generation. School children of the state will get the chance to name the satellite through a school-based competition, which starts in Term 2. 

The SASAT1 Space Services Mission will be used to monitor water levels for farmers to help determine future crop yields, and support emergency services personnel to monitor and manage emergencies such as bushfires. 

The satellite will be designed, built, and tested by the South Australian company Inovor Technologies, with Internet of Things (IoT) services provided by Myriota, and the mission led by the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). 

“What better way to reflect the future of South Australia in our own space mission than to have a South Australian school student name the satellite itself,” said South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Credit: SmartSat CRC.

One of South Australia’s goals, in expanding their space sector, is to educate younger generations on space and to encourage them to pursue space-based careers. The SASAT1 satellite provides an opportunity for younger generations to become involved in the growing space industry. 

“The satellite will also allow South Australian school students to view firsthand the vital information we gain from satellites right here in their own backyard. This is just one step in getting our next generation excited about what a career in space could mean for them,” said Premier Marshall. 

“There is a universe of careers emerging from the space sector, and one of our priorities is developing a targeted space education program aimed at inspiring our young stars; the SASAT1 Space Services Mission is a wonderful example of this in action.”

Minister for Education, John Gardner, commented on the importance of this opportunity for South Australian students to participate in the expanding space sector.

“The education system is geared up to support students to pursue careers in this important sector and I am sure this exciting opportunity will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to aim for the stars,” he said.

SmartSat CRC Chief Executive Professor Andy Koronios also stated the benefits of the SASAT1 Mission and the naming competition to inspire the next generation. 

“We hope this competition will spark the imagination of young people around our state, not only to submit a name for the satellite, but also to picture themselves pursuing a career in the space industry right here in South Australia.”

Supporting Everyday Australians

Artist illustration of an Inovor Satellite (not SASAT1) in orbit. Credit: Inovor Technologies.

The satellite is set to launch in the not too distant future and then remain in low-Earth orbit for three years. Professor Koronios commented on the benefits that everyday South Australians will see from the state’s first satellite.

“The SASAT1 Space Services Mission will contribute to the lives of every-day South Australians, by providing sensor and earth observation data for more accurate water monitoring and better prediction of crop yields, for example” Professor Koronios said.

Premier Marshall stated that the satellite will also contribute to South Australia’s presence and role in the broader Australian space industry. 

“The SASAT1 Space Services Mission represents a leap forward in our state’s already thriving space ecosystem and demonstrates my government’s commitment to delivering on progressive, innovative ideas in partnership with South Australian industry,” said Premier Marshall.

Information about the satellite naming competition will be available to all South Australian schools early in Term 2 this year, with the winner to be announced later in the year at the 12th Australian Space Forum.