The Waratah Seed Consortium will launch their WS-1 satellite mission with Momentus before the end of 2023.
The Waratah Seed Consortium is pleased to announce signing a launch contract with US-based space company, Momentus, who will provide space transportation for the WS-1 CubeSat mission.
WS-1 is targeted to launch into low Earth orbit (LEO) no earlier than October 2023 aboard the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission, before deploying from a Momentus Vigoride Orbital Service Vehicle.
Professor Iver Cairns, Director of Waratah Seed and CUAVA said;
"We are very excited to have signed two launch contracts with Momentus that will see both our ride-share satellite WS-1 and the CUAVA-2 CubeSat go into space in 2023. Working with Momentus has been very productive and enjoyable, despite the many challenges in developing a complex pilot project like the Waratah Seed.”
“We’re happy to continue to grow our relationship with CUAVA and support the Waratah Seed mission that provides space access to a new generation of innovators,” said Momentus Chief Executive Officer John Rood.
“Space infrastructure services can enable expanded access to space and optimize the use of space, and we’re looking forward to supporting Australia’s first ride-share mission as it seeks to bring new ideas and technologies to the space economy.”
Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said:
“NSW is Australia’s leader in space research, with more than a third of the country’s space startups calling NSW home. Supporting space startups helps drive long term economic growth and ensures we remain at the forefront of emerging space technologies. Through this mission, we’re giving our space startups a pathway to space.”
The Waratah Seed WS-1 mission carries payloads from winners of the WS-1 Payload Competition, run in 2021 to support NSW-based space start-up companies to demonstrate their technology in space and engage new export markets.
Winning Team payloads include;
• next generation perovskite solar cells designed by EurokaPower, a spin-off from the University of Sydney which aims to develop high efficiency, low-cost space solar cells that could be manufactured in Australia.
• an innovative space edge computing system designed by Spiral Blue, which aims to deliver dedicated data processing capable of heavy computation, including machine learning algorithms, onboard Earth observation satellites. The new technology aims to improve the speed, power and heat resistance of onboard computing solutions, as well as potentially offering a ‘pay for use’ database resource.
• subsystems and sensors for a robot arm in development by Sperospace, designed to enable on-orbit satellite maintenance, assembly, manufacturing and debris removal using unique tactile grips developed by partners, Contactile;
• an experimental meta-material developed by Dandelions, using natural fibres such as flax and hemp, which aims to provide a cost-effective, heat-resistant alternative to carbon fibre for use in spacecraft insulation.
The WS-1 Mission will also carry Commercial Clients, with the final payload manifest expected to be announced soon.