WA’s first space satellite, Binar-1, heads for orbit mission


Researchers say the deployment of Western Australia’s first local spacecraft will position the state as a leader in Australian space exploration.

Weighing 1.5 kilograms and made of 10-centimeter aluminum modules, the cube-shaped Binar-1 satellite is expected to launch into space on Saturday.

He will be aboard a SpaceX rocket carrying supplies from Cape Canaveral in the United States to the International Space Station.

Named after the Noongar word for fireball, Binar-1 was designed and built by students and engineers at Curtin University in Perth.

A team of 30 undergraduates from the university’s Space Science and Technology Center helped develop the software and hardware for what will be the first WA-built spacecraft to be deployed in a space mission.

After landing at the space station, Binar-1 will be launched into orbit where two onboard cameras will be used to capture images of the AO coastline.

It will remain in orbit for 18 months.

The first launch is used to test the technology, but by 2025, it is hoped that Binar satellites will pass within 20 kilometers of the lunar surface to map the moon’s geology in more detail, including minerals and deposits. of ice.

Premier Mark McGowan said the launch would be a big step forward for WA’s space sector.

“It’s extremely exciting to see firsthand the strong partnership between industry and academia that puts WA in space,” he said.

“The launch of Binar-1 positions WA as a major player in the Australian space sector, leading to the diversification of its economy into a forward-looking industry and creating a new, highly skilled workforce with capabilities easily transferable between space and other sectors. , like mining and resources.

Professor Curtin Phil Bland said the development of the Binar satellites should be extended to high school students in the future.

He said the program has six more launches planned over the next 18 months.

“For context, in its history, our country has flown only 15 spacecraft built in Australia,” he said.

“Our innovative design allows us to make spacecraft affordable and space accessible to innovators in WA.”


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