When the Australian Government announced its intention to invest in sovereign space sector growth in 2020, a passionate team of self-confessed ‘space Jedis’ pitched for a grant – and the opportunity to build, launch and run a new Mission Control Centre in Adelaide’s Space Discovery Centre. The primary objective? To become the face of Australia’s Space Agency, and manage all its space operations as a growing commercial enterprise, contributing towards a A$12 billion space industry and an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030.
In the lead up to the centre’s recent launch in March 2021, South Australia has become a magnet for all manner of space enthusiasts, experts, innovators, investors and 100 recently formed Aussie space companies – each dedicated to pushing the country’s space agenda to the next frontier.
In the thick of it all is Saber Astronautics, Australia’s largest mission control provider and government grant winner to bring the centre to life.
“It’s wonderful to see Australia leaping ahead, looking to do business differently, tackling the hard problems, and making a serious play for space. Space is an emerging industry, with huge potential for growth across enterprise, jobs, skills and technology. This is the first professional control centre in the world, and uses machine learning and 3D gaming technologies in daily spacecraft operations. As our Prime Minister said at launch, the Centre will provide critical new capability here on home soil. This has been nothing less than our dream job,” says Dr Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics.
Deloitte is proud to win the 2021 Good Design Award for Design Strategy.
“We’re establishing infrastructure for critical space flight and engineering capability through the Australian Government’s Space Infrastructure Fund. Companies and university researchers will be able to utilise the Mission Control Centre for pre-flight testing, launch support, as well as communications during flight. The Centre will inspire the nation, as Australian’s first publicly accessible mission control.”
Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency
And that’s not all. Saber’s philosophy is to democratise access to space, so it’s accessible to everyone. The state-of-the-art centre is providing the necessary facilities for space businesses and researchers to control satellite and space missions, and a live link to the International Space Station so visitors can also watch astronauts on-board.
The next generation – from kids to STEM students – can visit, learn, be inspired and become involved in Australia’s space agenda. The ability to offer a first-hand experience, and see thousands of space missions being safely managed on the ground, will attract more space talent and investors.
“Working with Saber Astronautics to establish the Mission Control Centre was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to activate the space ecosystem by building sovereign capabilities in end-to-end satellite operations to enable future Australian missions’ success.”
Dr. Geraldine Baca Triveno, Deloitte Space Senior Manager
Jason Held continues, “We partnered with Deloitte who have great experience in building ecosystems, commercialisation and scaling markets. Deloitte did a great job of designing operating models and a viable go to market strategy, delivered an excellent cyber security function to detect and protect against identified threats, and designed a beautiful yet functional experience for the centre itself. But what we really rated was the team’s passion, genuine human approach, and artistic nature.”
“Our strategy for the centre envisages the multi-faceted role it will play – in bringing together Australia’s commercial space ecosystem, and providing essential satellite data and insights to transform industries like agriculture, transport and health, and more broadly in society,” says Jason Bender, Deloitte Space Partner.
“Deloitte is thrilled to bring together innovators with the public and private sectors to create new business opportunities in space. We’re delighted to be working with Saber on this national priority.”
Steve Rayment, Deloitte Space Partner