Researchers from Western Australia recently made history as it launched into space the first locally designed and built satellite in the state called the Binar-1.
Gizmodo reported, the Binar-1 was one of two Australian-made satellites to be sent to the International Space Station onboard a SpaceX rocket yesterday, marking a substantial step forward for the space technology initiatives of Australia. The other satellite I the CUAVA-1.
While the two launches are exciting for the country's space program, the Binar-1 is specifically remarkable as it marks the first time such a satellite made by the WA researchers has officially been launched.
According to the director Philip Bland of the Space Science Technology Center of Curtin University, the said launch will definitely be the last time.
A Small Yet Powerful Satellite
In an ABC news report, Bland said one is not succeeding in space unless he's flying stuff, and thus, they're building the technology "that's going to allow us to fly all the time."
The satellite will work towards the Artemis mission of NASA to go back to the moon, developed by a team of 30 West Australians from Curtin University.
Even though Binar-1 is described to be smaller than a loaf of bread, sitting at less than 10 cubic centimeters, it does not necessarily mean this satellite is not powerful.
Even in something that big, continued Bland, they've got a room for payload for the stuff wanted from the satellite to perform.
The fundamental of it, he continued, is like a vegemite sandwich's size, although that can actually power and regulate a much larger spacecraft. Therefore, knowing how the system works, verifying that, they will develop much larger stuff.
Technology That Allows for Flying All the Time
The tiny size of the device means, too, that satellites are substantially easier and ultimately more low-cost to build compared to traditional satellites.
Bland explained they are developing the technology that will allow for flying all the time; therefore, that will be validated, not to mention being able to "test that out in orbit."
However, more than that, added Bland, they will be able to provide a payload space in all those spacecraft for anyone who has a bridge idea in WA, be it a high school, a university, or a beginner to test it.
Meanwhile, Ben Hartig, the project manager, is convinced they will construct 10 Binar satellites for the cost of one internationally-constructed prototype.
There's a lot of activity in the country at present, and everyone is excited, although a large amount of that, Hartig elaborated, is still strongly dependent on international companies.
Meaning, money is being sent out of the country when jobs could be carried out here, he also explained. With every launch, they will be trying to build up more capability, not to mention more dependability, and they're manufactured locally wherever possible so that the ability is maintained to keep developing more of them.
The Binar-1 Satellite
The Binar-1, described in Gunter's Space Page, is the first of around seven tiny satellites that the WA team aims to launch over the next couple of years.
In the long run, a report from the Australian Government said, they hope to have a substantial role in the next Moon mission of humanity and are aiming to have two locally-made spacecraft as part of the journey, which is presently slated for 2025.
Locally, the Binar team is hoping to inspire West Australians to pursue professions in space technology.
Report about WA's Binar-1 satellite is shown on 9News Perth's YouTube video below:
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