The recent advances in launch technologies have made space more accessible and cost-effective for startups worldwide. Reduced access costs open up many new opportunities that have, until now, been too expensive. Skykraft, an Australian space services company, is capitalizing rapidly on this change, developing affordable yet reliable solutions to real-world needs.
This week, the startup announced that it will launch a 300kg satellite on SpaceX’s upcoming Transporter-5 mission.
The 300kg satellite launch will allow the startup to test multiple early-phase Skykraft Air Traffic Management satellites that will form a global constellation of 210 satellites. Space Constellations consist of large numbers of spacecraft that work together to provide services on Earth that improve our communication, travel, banking, environment, location services, and security.
The company hopes its Space-based Air Traffic Management constellation will improve the safety and efficiency of global air travel. The satellite will be launched aboard the SpaceX Transporter-5 mission, which is currently slated for takeoff in mid-2022.
Skykraft explains its Air Traffic Management constellation of 210 spacecraft that will “provide continuous coverage for aircraft at all altitudes and locations. This improves both the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations.”
“Skykraft is very pleased to ride with SpaceX, the most reliable and effective launch provider in the world, to deploy our Air Traffic Management constellation,” said Mark Skidmore, Executive Chair of Skykraft. “We also congratulate the SpaceX team on their transformative approach to small satellite launch and the rapid cadence of their rideshare opportunities.”
The company is also offering the opportunity for small hosted payloads to ride along on this and following launches to help advance scientific, technology development, and educational endeavors. Its main goal is to fully launch its space-based Air Traffic Management services by 2023.