The Waratah Seed Consortium, led by the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and their Applications (CUAVA), announces the commencement of selection for Commercial Client payloads to fly on the Waratah Seed Space Qualification Mission satellite WS-1.
The Commercial Clients Selection Process will run in parallel to the WS-1 Payload Competition launched on August 24, and will offer a ‘ride’ on commercial terms for payloads on the WS-1 ride-share satellite, now due to launch in October 2023 (updated 1 Sept 2022).The goal of this mission is to provide a financially accessible pathway for testing technology in space.
The Waratah Seed Consortium is a partnership between CUAVA, based at the University of Sydney, ACSER at the University of NSW, Saber Astronautics, Delta-V NewSpace Alliance, Macquarie University, and the University of Technology Sydney.
Professor Iver Cairns, Director of both Waratah Seed and CUAVA, said; “The WS-1 satellite with be a 6-unit (U) CubeSat, measuring approximately 30 cm by 20 cm by 10 cm. We want to attract two streams of payloads, one via the Payload Competition for teams led by NSW space companies and one via the Commercial Clients Selection process.
The Commercial Clients Selection Process is open to all comers, whether industry, government, and / or academic and whether NSW, Australian, or internationally-led, with 3U of payload volume reserved for its payloads. It represents an excellent opportunity for Australian and other payloads to gain flight heritage and demonstrate their operation in space, so as to deliver on their teams’ goals and aspirations.”
Dr Tim Parsons, Founder of Delta-V Newspace Alliance said; “Demonstrating novel NSW and Australian space technologies in space is the best way to win global credibility for our space startups and SMEs so they can win contracts from partners and customers, join global supply chains, and unlock all the potential of our local R&D, technical and commercial space talent in Australia. The Waratah Seed Space Qualification Mission is an historic opportunity to do exactly this – and we encourage everybody in the industry and the wider community to make the most of it!”
Waratah Seed is a pilot Space Qualification Mission funded by NSW Government through their Space Industry Development program. Working with University and Industry Partners, its mission is to deliver a 6U CubeSat platform aimed at providing a spaceflight opportunity to NSW space industry start-ups and selected commercial clients, generating development opportunities, space flight heritage, sponsorship and publicity for the NSW space sector in particular, and the Australian space sector in general.
Delta-V Newspace Alliance has been connecting space startups to one another, and to national and international opportunities, since 2014. Originally a peer-mentoring network for space entrepreneurs, Delta-V is now testing the potential for commercializing the Waratah Seed Mission Program model for a global customer base of researchers, startups, space corporates, STEAM programs, and the public.