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Aussie Cubesats launched towards International Space Station

19 April 2017

Three satellites developed by Australian universities were launched today to the International Space Station as part of a global atmospheric research project.

Teams from the universities of Adelaide, Sydney, and New South Wales are participating in the QB50 project, which will see a network of Cubesats from more than 20 countries be deployed from the International Space Station.

The satellites will be used to conduct scientific research in the largely unexplored thermosphere, around 400 kilometres above the Earth. The international project is coordinated by Belgium’s von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics.

I’m delighted that Australia is participating in this exciting project, demonstrating our world-class capability in building and testing CubeSat technologies.

Modern science is a global endeavour, and Australia derives great benefit from cooperating with our scientific partners around the world.

Projects like QB50 will inspire the next generation of young engineers and researchers to be engaged in and enriched by the opportunities in science.

The Australian Government regulates Australian involvement in satellite launches through the Space Activities Act 1998.  The three Australian satellites were granted Overseas Launch Certificates under the Act, confirming that the planned launch meets safety and other requirements.

The launch to the International Space Station took place today on an Atlas V launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, United States.

Media Contact: Minister Sinodinos' office 02 6277 7070