Sod turned for new station
Alex Pearse’s Yatharagga farm on Mingenew’s Depot Hill Road will be the site of a second satellite tracking station for Mingenew, with a sod turning ceremony held earlier this month.
“The hope is improving digital connectivity, there will be a natural spill over so local farmers will have improved services as well,” Mingenew Shire chief executive Nils Hay said.
Swedish Space Corporation and Geoscience Australia representatives met new neighbours Capricorn Space on site with WA politicians, the Mid West Development Corporation and Mingenew Shire.
Mr Hay said he met representatives from the three agencies and the Mid West Development Corporation at the ceremony.
“We spoke broadly about ways we can work together to try to improve digital connectivity, roads and electricity,” he said.
“The next step now is further discussions with the State Government and we need to do a bit of a needs analysis with what we require out there.”
Mr Hay said this would examine ways of fostering improved infrastructure to allow existing operators to grow and to attract further operators into the Shire.
“We now have three fairly important stakeholders in the space industry in that part of our shire and we have got a really good base to develop further,” he said.
“That spot has an embargo which makes it a ‘radio quiet zone’ which is incredibly rare, one of the quietest in the world.
“You don’t get that spill over of noise which is why the guys chose it to set up their satellite tracking business.”
Mr Hay said it was not well known Mingenew had had the existing facility shared by Swedish Space Corporation and Geoscience Australia for many years. “As a Shire we want to put the infrastructure in place so it provides growth for another area of economic activity,” he said.
A Swedish Space Corporation representative said the existing facility provided launch and early orbit phase support and daily pass support for major space agencies across the globe. “SSC Mingenew played a major part in the orbit raising of NBN Skymuster 1A and 1B,” he said.
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