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Skykraft opens new satellite manufacturing facility in Canberra

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

21 March 2022

Skykraft officially opened its new manufacturing facility in the centre of Canberra at the UNSW Canberra City campus on Monday, 21st March. The new facility is enabling the development of the largest ever Australian manufactured space payload, weighing 300kg, which is confirmed for launch this year with SpaceX from Florida.

Skykraft, is an Australian company that delivers services from space. Skykraft is currently focusing on the development and deployment of a space-based Air Traffic Management (ATM) service. The new Canberra manufacturing facility will produce the 200+ satellites that will form the constellation providing the ATM services, with the operating constellation launched during 2023.

The upcoming launch with SpaceX will be a proof of concept for the deployment of Skykraft’s ATM services. Space-based ATM addresses the gaps in surveillance and communications for aircraft travelling across regions that are not covered by existing systems, such as oceanic or remote areas.

“Skykraft’s space-based solution allows real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots, allowing for the reduction in separation between aircraft over oceanic airspace, enhancing efficiency and delivering environmental benefits. Our satellite constellation will be a world-first, proudly out of Australia.” said Skykraft’s Chairman, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Mark Skidmore. (Left) AVM (ret) Mark Skidmore (Chairman), (Centre) Enrico Palermo (Head, Australian Space Agency), (Right) Michael Frater (CEO).

With a strong engineering team, based around co-founders Dr Doug Griffin (Chief Engineer) and Dr Craig Benson (Chief Innovation Officer), and an agile technology approach, Skykraft is positioned to offer a unique global product that will not only offer the prospect of significant job creation and onshore opportunities for the growing Space sector but also deliver the sovereign capability needed for our defence and government programs.

The manufacturing facility was officially opened by the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, who said it highlighted the rapid growth of the local space sector.

“This facility further emphasises the great momentum that’s been fostered since the establishment of the Australian Space Agency and why space is one of six priorities under the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy,” Mr Palermo said.

“When our space sector grows it not only creates opportunities within those space businesses but across a range of industries, which means jobs with all different skillsets.”

The new facility will have produced 5 satellites by 30 June 2022 and a further 12 satellites will be manufactured in the 2nd half of 2022. Production will ramp up in 2023, with 45 satellites targeted in the 1st half of 2023 and then build to 120 satellites manufactured in the 2nd half of 2023.

For more information about Skykraft, please visit:


Press release - Skykraft Official Opening 2022
Download PDF • 192KB

Interviews with Skykraft Chairman Mark Skidmore available on request.

About Skykraft

Skykraft is an Australian space services company based in the ACT that specialises in the design, manufacture and operation of satellite constellations for the delivery of global services. Skykraft is launching a constellation for space-based Air Traffic Management services in 2023.

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