Research

Australia to join global satellite research project

Australia will join 27 other countries in a global satellite research project with the launch of three Australian ‘CubeSats’ satellites.

The QB50 project, coordinated by Belgium’s von Karmen Institute for Fluid Dynamics, is launching around 50 small research satellites into space for critical atmospheric research.

The Turnbull Government has authorised the launch of three Australian CubeSats built by teams led by the universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Adelaide.

The lunchbox-sized satellites are being shipped to the Netherlands ahead of an anticipated late December launch from the United States to the International Space Station.

The CubeSats will be deployed from the International Space Station, at around 400km above the Earth, with a lifespan of up to two years.

Australia’s participation demonstrates our capability in building and testing these CubeSats, providing access to space for the next generation of engineers.

The Turnbull Government is committed to supporting Australia’s great scientists and researchers.

Australia’s involvement in exciting projects like QB50 will inspire the next generation of young Australians to be excited about the opportunities of being engaged in science.

The Australian Government regulates Australian involvement in satellite launches through the Space Activities Act 1998.

The three universities were granted Overseas Launch Certificates confirming that the planned launch meets safety and other requirements under the Act.

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