Australia’s nascent space industry marked a major milestone today with the launch of its first commercial payload – and Space Connect was on board.

Black Sky Aerospace successfully launched the payload from a remote site in Queensland, supported by Space Connect as an industry partner.

The largely Australian-designed and manufactured launch vehicle took off with three commercial payloads on board, marking a major leap forward for the development of Australia’s space industry.

The Space Connect logo featured prominently on the rocket. It’s the first time any of our brands have gone into space and likely a first for an Australian media business, said Momentum Media director – defence and space Phillip Tarrant.

“William Magee, one of our Space Connect team members, made the trip out to Westmar, which is north-west of Goondiwindi in outback Queensland, to participate in the launch – which was well represented by industry, the space sector and parliamentary officials.

“It was great for Space Connect to be involved and we got a real kick out of launching one of our brands intro space.

“We’re at a formative period for Australia’s space economy and we’re right behind the growth and development of the sector,” Tarrant said.

According to Blake Nikolic, director of operations, Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) – the business behind the rocket launch – this launch was particularly special because of the three commercial payloads on board.

“The development of the launch vehicle and launch marked a step-change for Australia’s domestic industry, with large parts and components designed and manufactured locally by Australian companies and BSA partners,” he said.

This included Laser Central, a Queensland-based laser machining and cutting company, and Products for Industry (PFI), which was also central to the success of today’s launch.

“The spacecraft is essentially an Aussie design and build, and we’re very close to having the propellant manufacturing capability here in Australia; once that happens, it will be entirely Australian,” Nikolic said.

The global space economy is currently estimated to be valued at $350 billion and could grow to $1 trillion by the 2040s – and Australia is ideally positioned to capitalise on this emerging market.

Our domestic space sector is currently valued at between $3-4 billion annually, with projections for Australia’s space industry to triple by 2030 to a value of between $10-12 billion.

Space Connect is the first dedicated market intelligence, media and information platform for Australia’s space community. Its aim is to help drive the growth of the domestic industry as well as project Australia’s space capabilities globally.

“We’re the central hub for information, insights and interpretation on the key factors shaping the development of Australia’s space industry,” Tarrant said.

“Space Connect is also the first platform to connect space professionals with jobs, underpin space careers, reveal business opportunities, support the space start-up sector and highlight opportunities for funding.”

The platform serves as the authoritative marketplace to connect ideas, research and innovation with opportunities for space commercialisation. For more details visit Space Connect (www.spaceconnectonline.com.au).