Tue. May 17th, 2022

The space hunt begins as Western Australia's Binar-1 mission takes the next giant leap

Credit: Curtin University

Western Australia’s homemade spacecraft, Binar-1, has been shot into space’s vacuum insert in the Low Earth Orbit from the International Space Station (ISS), five weeks after blasting from Cape Canaveral in Florida.


Director of the Curtins Space Science and Technology Center (SSTC), John Curtin Distinguished Professor Phil Bland, joined SSTC staff and students yesterday to watch a live feed as Binar-1 was placed in the small airlock in the Japanese experimental module Kibo on the ISS and sent into space.

Professor Bland explained that WA’s first homemade spacecraft is now on a journey to make first contact before testing critical systems, collecting data and taking photographs from 400 kilometers above Earth.

“The launch of WA’s first homemade spacecraft on the Space-X rocket was exciting, but this moment and the days to come are the truly crucial points for our Binar Space Program and the team of staff and students who designed and built Binar-1. from scratch, ”said Professor Bland.

“We can not wait to hear Binar-1’s ‘first words’ from space – this is the time when we will be able to declare the success of our first space mission and set ourselves on the path to proving that our technology can deliver.

“That contact and the following protocol test will enable us to achieve our goal of sending another six satellites into space over the next 18 months and our ultimate goal of taking WA to the moon by 2025.”

Binar Program Manager Ben Hartig said that with Binar-1 now safely in orbit, the team is focused on listening for her heartbeat. “

“We built Binar-1 to communicate using UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio signals, which is the backbone of an exciting opportunity to engage both the hammer radio community and STEM students,” Hartig said.

“We have partnered with amateurs around the world and local school groups so they can also listen to Binar-1 as it passes overhead.

“With the right equipment and antenna, anyone can hear Binar-1 when it makes contact. But it will be our Curtin SSTC team that can decode the signal to tell us where Binar-1 is and how it works. The team will confirm all systems are working and then begin sending instructions to the next phase of its mission. “

The implementation of Binar-1 was made possible through Curtin’s partnership with start-up Space BD Inc, which is the official service provider chosen by JAXA, the Japanese space agency, in the field of ISS exploitation and satellite transmission service.

Testing the viability of Binar-1 in space will be facilitated through Curtin’s alliance with specialists in remote operations, Fugro, and their space automation, artificial intelligence and Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC).

The Binar Space Program is generously supported by a $ 500,000 state government to facilitate joint operations with the Fugro SpAARC facility and promote a valuable outreach component to inspire young people in WA to pursue careers in STEM. It is also supported by the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium.

Binar-1 orbits 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, approximately the distance from Perth to Albany, and will orbit the planet once every 90 minutes. Two small cameras on board will also capture images of WA’s shoreline.

The WA public can watch the Binar-1 launch again and be a part of the story by visiting the Big Binar at the WA Museum Boola Bardip and writing a message to the room until October 11th.


We’re launching Australia’s first scratch-built satellite, and it’s a giant leap towards the moon


Provided by Curtin University

Citation: Space Hunt begins as Western Australia’s Binar-1 mission takes the next giant leap (2021, October 7) retrieved October 8, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-space-western-australia- binar-mission. html

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