Western Australia’s remote and dusty Pilbara mining region is far removed from NASA’s hi-tech and clean research laboratories, however autonomous trucks and trains are merging with space robots to go one day mining on the Moon and Mars! With our unique Southern Hemisphere location, radio astronomy expertise and brilliant minds, Australia has a lot to offer the global space industry.
1. The Square Kilometre Array
The world’s biggest radio telescope will expand our knowledge of the universe ten-fold and drive technological advancement across the globe. and roll out of 132,000 antennas is about to begin in the Murchison desert of Western Australia, giving the telescope a baseline of 65kms.
2. Australian-made Rover set to Launch to the Moon
The Australian Space Agency has signed a deal with NASA to be part of future Moon missions. The semi-autonomous "foundation services rover" will be launched as early as 2026 and be used on an exploration mission that could bring humankind a step closer to developing a sustained human presence off Earth.
3. New Space Surveillance Telescope in Western Australia
At the joint US-Australian Communications Station in Exmouth, a new telescope has collected first light. It is a vital part of the global Space Surveillance Network, providing space domain awareness to Australia and the US. The world-leading, 360-degree telescope enables Defence to track and identify objects and threats in space.
4. Northern Territory Spaceport, due for 2022 Blast Off
The Arnhem Space Centre and NASA are preparing for a series of suborbital rocket launches, the first for NASA outside the US. The southern hemisphere launch site is close to the equator, providing a more efficient launch due to the earth’s rotational velocity, therefore less fuel, more payload weight and more suborbital observation time.
5. WA’s First Satellite, Binar-1 Cube Sat Arrives at the ISS
The Binar-1 craft will be deployed from the ISS into orbit in coming weeks. Built at Curtin University, it will validate technology in space to lay the foundations for future Moon missions to locate and produce high resolution digital mapping of resources on the Moon's surface. .
6. WA Radio Telescope Unlocking Secrets of the Stars
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope or ASKAP, located in the remote Murchison region of WA was the test facility for the Square Kilometre Array telescope. Consisting of 36 dish antennas, ASKAP has unique capabilities to provide big picture views of the universe and has already provided remarkable information and images.
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