Australian satellite successfully launches in the US

Earlier this week, Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, announced the successful launch of an Australian miniature satellite from the United States.

The Buccaneer cube satellite, developed by Defence and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a Delta-II rocket and communications have now been established.

“Small, low-cost satellites like Buccaneer provide a unique opportunity to support Australian Defence Force capabilities and to rejuvenate Australian space research,” Payne said.

“Buccaneer is designed to improve understanding of the outer atmosphere, in particular the Ionosphere, which plays a key role in Australia’s world-leading Over-the-Horizon radar capability.”

Buccaneer’s first mission is to test key technologies in preparation for the main mission in a few years when it will perform calibration activities for the Jindalee Over-the-Horizon Operational Radar Network.

Minister Payne said the 2016 Defence White Paper highlights space research and space-based systems as an important part of Australia’s Defence capability and national security.

“The Government will invest significantly in space-related projects for Defence over the next two decades and it has made a commitment to establish a national space agency to drive Australia’s involvement in space,” Payne said.

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