This paper describes the ground system currently being developed for what is thought to be a unique mission being flown in 1998. The main mission in question is called BADR-B (Urdu for Full Moon) and is a Pakistan mini-satellite designed to test out certain technologies and scientific instruments. BADR-B is a gravity-gradient stabilised spacecraft, and as such it incorporates a gravity-gradient boom for attitude control. The unique feature of this mission, however, is that the normal gravity-gradient tip mass at the end of the boom has been replaced by an autonomous micro-satellite. This consists of two scientific instruments (one for measurement of atomic oxygen, one for detection of small particulated debris) with completely self-contained power supply and data transmission. To transmit its data to the ground, the micro-satellite forwards its data remotely by an optical/rf link to the mini-satellite, and thereafter it is downlinked to one of two ground stations, these being at Lahore, Pakistan and at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), Chilton, England. In order to keep costs to an absolute minimum, the ground system at RAL for the micro-satellite is being designed with autonomy in mind, and the re-use of much existing hardware and software. The cost-efficient development of the hardware, software and operations is described in this paper.