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  • Writer's pictureSkykraft

Interns launch to space

On a quiet January day in 2022, two Skykraft interns, Arthur Pearce and Grace Chesworth completed the first proof-of-concept tests of a simple mechanism to gently release the Skykraft satellites into their final orbit.

Arthur and Grace worked on the detailed design, development and then further testing of the mechanism. To replicate the harsh environment of space, the interns launched the payload, then separated it from the Falcon9, unlocked the main hold-down mechanism, and then finally the new “intern-tech” inserted our five Block II satellites into their final orbits.

Pictured above: Left to Right, Arthur and Grace in the Skykraft facility

The results of these engineering tests were so encouraging, the design concept was adopted into our final flight-model stack, which was successfully deployed into low Earth orbit a year after our intern tests.

"For me personally, it’s really cool that even Skykraft interns get to work on flight programs and see their work fly in space doing critical tasks in less than one year," said Arthur.

"I am proud and thankful for all of the determination, focus, skill and commitment from the Skykraft team to get us this far," said Grace.

Together, the interns reflect on their successes:

  • The payload was successfully tested and qualified for launch here in Australia

  • It was not just one satellite, but a stack of four satellites plus an Orbital Transfer Vehicle that survived the violent accelerations during the Falcon9 ascent

  • Those satellites were safely inserted into their final orbit successfully

  • All of this was completed in one year

There is a whole lot more space-tech development needed over the next couple of years, so if you want to be part of the space industry, reach out to the Skykraft team.

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