International Space Station to launch Australian CubeSats

29 June 2016

Cheap satellites just a handful of centimetres in diameter will provide new data about relatively nearby atmospheres.

Three small Australian cube-sized satellites (CubeSats) will be launched from the International Space Station to research new regions that could impact technology used on Earth, with researchers from Sydney SpaceNet at the School of Physics leading development of one of the CubeSats, undergoing testing at the ANU Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre (AITC).

"The first three Australian CubeSats in space will be doing research with significant public good. For example, they are looking at space weather and solar activity, which are important for vital systems such as GPS, financial systems and electricity grids," - Professor Iver Cairns.

CubeSats are emerging as a space industry standard design for low-cost space research. Originally conceived for student projects, more than 100 CubeSats have now been launched around the Earth and even around Mars.

Professor Cairns said at the official launch of the testing efforts the CubeSat effort marked were a number of firsts for the Australian teams, which worked together in a close and constructive collaboration.

For further information, please see the University and Sydney Morning Herald articles.

Contact: Vivienne Reiner

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