Entries are now open for the mission to name South Australia’s first state satellite, giving students from every South Australian primary and secondary school the chance to put their mark on the milestone SASAT1 Space Services Mission.

A panel of South Australian-based space industry dignitaries and decision makers will select one winning name and two runners-up from entries submitted by over 700 schools across the state.

The winning name will be displayed on the body of satellite before it is launched to low-Earth orbit in 2022.

Premier Steven Marshall said students are encouraged to consider names that reflect South Australia’s heritage and rich cultural and linguistic diversity.

“South Australia has a long history in space, and the SASAT1 Space Services Mission is our latest contribution to the national ambition to build a thriving space industry,” he said.

“Our school children have a unique opportunity to give the locally-manufactured satellite a memorable name and make an important contribution to South Australia’s history.”

“I am incredibly proud to launch this initiative, which directly aligns with the South Australia Growth State Space Sector Strategy goal of inspiring future generations of space leaders.”

With a universe of careers emerging from the space sector, one of the state government’s priorities is supporting STEM programs in schools to equip and inspire South Australia’s bright young stars.

Minister for Education, John Gardner said the competition is a brilliant chance for South Australian students to contribute to a key moment in the evolution of the state’s emerging space industry.

“I’m really excited by the positive influence growing excitement about South Australia’s space industry is having on the subject and career choices of our young people. For current and future generations of students space careers will never be an unobtainable goal but a realistic ambition that can be fulfilled right here in South Australia.”

Entries close on 2 July, with the winning name announced by the Premier at the Andy Thomas Space Foundation’s 12th Australian Space Forum on 15 September. This event brings together space industry delegates from across the globe in Adelaide.

School resource kits are now available on the competition website at SAspacemission.com.au.

Additional information:

The data collected by the Space Services Mission will help every-day South Australians, like our farmers who will be able to monitor water levels to more accurately predict future crop yields, and emergency services personnel who will have greater oversight to monitor, manage and even mitigate emergencies like bushfires.

The small satellite will be designed, built and tested in South Australia by local company Inovor Technologies while Adelaide company Myriota will provide Internet of Things (IoT) services for the mission, collecting the data and returning it to Earth. The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will lead the mission as well as application prototyping.

The satellite will be launched in 2022, spending at least three years in low-Earth orbit.