Australian Satellites Head for Space

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence Industry

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19 April 2017

Minister for Defence Industry the Hon Christopher Pyne MP; today announced Australian satellites were on the successful launch of a re-supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Biarri Point is a satellite developed by the United States, which as part of its payload has GPS technology developed by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney in partnership with Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group.

Minister Pyne said the research and development program will help support industry jobs around the nation and in universities.

Biarri is being carried to the ISS on an Orbital ATK/Cygnus OA-7 cargo craft launched by an Atlas V rocket, which departed early Wednesday 19 April AEST) from Cape Canaveral.

“On its arrival the crew of the ISS will load the Biarri satellite along with other small satellites into the launcher later to be deployed into their own orbits by early July.

“After the satellites launch from the ISS the Biarri satellite will be switched on and commence its mission of less than one year.”

Minister Pyne said Biarri carries a GPS technology payload developed by UNSW (Sydney) and integrated into the satellite by DST will conduct a range of experiments involving Australian facilities such as Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra.

“The experiments are aimed at increasing our understanding of outer atmospheric effects on small satellites and improve our situation awareness of space,” Minister Pyne said.

“The 2016 Defence White Paper highlights the importance of space-based systems for information gathering, communications, navigation and surveillance for all ADF and coalition operations.

“Advances in small low cost space platforms provide a unique opportunity to support Australian Defence Force capabilities and to rejuvenate Australian space research,” he said.

Also on the same mission are the SuSAT satellite from the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, the UNSW-ECO satellite from the University of New South Wales and INSPIRE 2 from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and Australian National University all part of the multi-national, multi-university QB50 program.

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