Cingulan Space tracking station's mission to the moon

Could Yass help to bring down signals from the world's future moon mission?

The owner of a space company in the regional town of NSW said it's possible.

Pete Chatwin, Joe Winter and Lincoln Farnsworth of Cingulan Space in Yass assist Gilmour Space Technologies' rocket test launch in Queensland. Photo: supplied

Pete Chatwin, Joe Winter and Lincoln Farnsworth of Cingulan Space in Yass assist Gilmour Space Technologies' rocket test launch in Queensland. Photo: supplied

"The first images of the moon landing were from Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra and our tracking stations could do the same for satellites supporting a future moon mission," Keith Rosario of Cingulan Space said.

Mr Rosario has two satellite tracking stations; one is located on a small green hill, 15 minutes outside of Yass and the other is near Wagin in Western Australia.

Cingulan Space has also been helping Gilmour Space Technologies with its development of low-cost, small satellite launch vehicles in Australia and sent three of its staff to support an attempted rocket test launch in North West Queensland in July.

Mr Rosario hopes to one day be involved with a future mission to the moon, which NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) had promised would include a female astronaut.

Mr Rosario would like to receive the first images of the first female stepping onto the moon, although he said he would need to invest in a much bigger antenna at one of Cingulan's tracking station sites to do so.

"The Apollo anniversary has ignited a growth in interest in going back to the moon and we'd love to be a part of it," he said.

Cingulan Space owner Keith Rosario at the satellite tracking station just outside of Yass. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Cingulan Space owner Keith Rosario at the satellite tracking station just outside of Yass. Photo: Hannah Sparks

Cingulan Space was established in Yass in 2016 and has taken leaps and bounds in satellite tracking since then.

As well as working with Gilmour Space Technologies, Cingulan Space recently completed a major piece of research with the support of the ACT government that will change how satellites are tracked across the world, Mr Rosario said.

Some may think Yass an odd place for a satellite tracking station, but Mr Rosario explained it is, in fact, the perfect place.

"It's radio quiet here," he said.

The large number of radio systems in Canberra could interfere with the space company's ability to track satellites, Mr Rosario said.

His station needs to be able to communicate with satellites, sending and receiving anything from a photo or video to moisture and mineral level data.

"We can be tracking satellites as far as 35,000 kilometres away," Mr Rosario said.

The number of satellites Cingulan Space tracks at any one time depends on the schedule, Mr Rosario said.

"There are more satellites up there than we can track," he said.

Mr Rosario set-up Cingulan Space in anticipation for the growth in satellites and space exploration.

"The number of satellites that could be in space is growing exponentially. Elon Musk with SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) is adding 12000 satellites and launched the first 60 in May," Mr Rosario said.

He said the space sector in Australia is also going through a period of renewed growth.

"I can't tell you exactly what type of jobs there will be for kids in five years but it will be different and that's really exciting," Mr Rosario said.

A recent shift has allowed small companies, such as Gilmour Space Technologies, to launch satellites into space.

"It used to only be the big companies that were able to," Mr Rosario said.

He believes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is vital currently and that more young people should consider jobs with high technology companies.

"There is the opportunity for high tech companies to be located in regional Australia," Mr Rosario said.

"Kids in Year 12 and at university should know they can take an idea and give it a go.

"It's about backing and believing in yourself and being willing to take a risk on the basis that you might fail, but knowing that's normal and there's nothing wrong with that as long as you learnt from your attempt," he said.

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