Perth-based public research institution Curtin University has reportedly planned to launch its first locally-designed and developed space satellite.
Developed by engineers and students at the Space Science and Technology Centre of Curtin University, the Binar-1 CubeSat has been developed to situate and produce high-resolution digital resource mapping on the surface of the Moon.
The Binar-1 is slated to depart on August 28 from Cape Canaveral, United States, as part of SpaceX's commercial resupply mission to the ISS (International Space Station). Post its launch, the spacecraft will be positioned into low-earth orbit from the International Space Station.
As per the University, the aim of Binar-1 is to conduct testing of all the crucial spacecraft systems, while the two onboard cameras will focus on capturing images of the Western Australian coastline and transmit them back to Earth.
Professor Harlene Hayne, the Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, apparently stated that the advanced satellite design enables them to bring affordability to spacecraft, thereby increasing the space accessibility for Western Australian innovators.
Hayne added that they would be able to command and control the missions from Perth, through the Australian SpAARC (Space Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Control Complex) of Fugro, which will utilize Binar CubeSats to test distant operation protocols on an in-orbit spacecraft.
The eventual goal of the mission is to have a WA-constructed spacecraft on the Moon by 2025. Space missions like these are inspirational and promote innovation. The Binar-1 launch is the University’s first crucial step towards achieving that goal, Hayne said.
The capability of building an affordable spacecraft indicates the potential for rapid technological iterations, which is a crucial element in designing novel systems for exploration that will eventually benefit other industrial sectors.
For the record, the Binar-1 CubeSat will be the first of seven launches of Binar CubeSat slated for 2021 and 2022. Other satellite projects similar to Binar-1 are under development in other states across Australia as well, which includes New South Wales.