nbn has announced that its second satellite, Sky Muster II, will launch on 5 October. The new satellite aims to provide additional data capacity to regional and remote Australia.
The satellite will be launched into space from the French Guiana Space Centre in South America and is set to orbit 36,000km.
Sky Muster II is one of the world’s largest communications satellites, weighing in at 6,400kg.
Following the successful launch of nbn’s first satellite in late 2015, Sky Muster II will provide additional data capacity to support the delivery of the company’s satellite broadband service.
The technology will help bridge Australia’s digital divide for around 400,000 homes and businesses in regional and remote Australia by providing them with better access to distance online education and healthcare services as well as the ability to run more efficient agribusinesses from our outback farms.
nbn Satellite Architect Julia Dickson said, “The nbn Sky Muster satellite service is transforming the day-to-day lives of people from all over the country.
“We are already seeing how access to fast broadband for small businesses and farms in the most remote outback and offshore locations can improve productivity by better enabling the ability to store files in the cloud and avoid lengthy business trips by communicating with customers and suppliers through more reliable video conferencing.”
Alicia Garden, the CEO of Grain Growers, an organisation working to make a more efficient, sustainable, and profitable grains industry, said the Sky Muster service signals a potential game-changer for grain growers as many growers currently don’t have access to fast, affordable and reliable internet connections needed to operate their businesses to their full potential.
“It will enhance connectivity standards to improve the efficiency and profitability of Australian farming by changing the way farmers do business – in particular their capacity to collect, analyse and apply agriculture data,” Ms Garden said.
nbn also revealed the first glimpse of the artwork that will be printed on the nosecone of the rocket, which will launch Sky Muster II into orbit.
“To ensure every Australian, no matter where they live, could have the chance to be a part of this history-making moment, we held a nationwide callout for people to win the opportunity to ‘blast their face into space’,” Ms Dickson said.
Representing the millions of people in every corner of Australia which will be connected to the NBN network, the mosaic-style image is made up of more than 700 Australians who won the chance to include an image of their face on the rocket.