NBN Co's failure to launch

NBN Co's $660 million satellite ambitions may not be as well planned out as initially thought.

If you thought North Korea had problems with its ‘research satellite’, then let us draw your attention to another looming ‘failure to launch’ on our own shore.

It’s known as the NBN Co satellite plan, and while it may not create as much international tension as its North Korean counterpart, at the moment it looks like it may be destined to end the same way – not actually making into space.

According to The Australian Financial Review, NBN Co is planning to spend $660 million to launch its own satellite into space to aid in disturbing a wireless connection around the remote areas of Australia.

It’s an expensive plan, and with that much money one would expect the plan would have the precision of a NASA launch, right?


NBN Co hasn’t applied for an orbital parking spot, it just plans to shove the thing into space and hope for the best. Never mind if it interferes with any other orbital satellites – it appears the NBN Co mind frame is that as long as the NBN is delivered on time, all other concerns are secondary.

To be fair, NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley said there would be a “very, very small” possibility that the plan would go ahead without NBN Co applying for a spot for the satellite in orbit.

But flip this statement around, and it means that NBN Co was actually considering not applying for a $50-100 million permit and just throwing the satellite into space.

Needless to say, shadow communication minister Malcolm Turnbull and satellite experts have joined forces to point out the insanity of NBN Co’s actions.

Luckily, according to New York satellite expert, Dr Grahame Shaw the area of space NBN Co wants to put its satellite in is relatively un-used.

On this note, today’s infographic created and sourced from AMSAT UK passes on some handy facts about satellites.



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