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Saturday, July 22 2017 @ 08:35 AM AEST
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Japanese spacecraft to land in Australia

The Central Australian outback will play a part in space discovery in June when a capsule from a Japanese spacecraft will come to earth at the Woomera rocket range.

The Hayabusa spacecraft made contact with an asteroid five years ago but Japanese officials are uncertain if it managed to collect any material from it.

The Federal Government says Australian authorities are working with their Japanese counterparts on how to successfully land the basketball-sized capsule.

From ABC News
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40 years since WRESAT

Australia's Project WRESAT (Weapons Research Establishment Satellite) involved the development and launch from Woomera of a small scientific satellite at 2.19 pm on 29 November 1967 (local time), thereby making Australia only the fourth country to launch its own satellite from its own territory after the U.S.S.R., U.S.A. and France. The satellite, with its third stage rocket motor still attached, was placed in a near-polar orbit by a U.S. Redstone rocket.

The satellite re-entered over the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland at 11:34 GMT on 10 January 1968. It had completed 642 orbits and transmitted scientific data for 73 orbits.

The first stage of the launch vehicle fell in the Simpson Desert of central Australia, while the second stage came down in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Little of the second stage would have survived re-entry. However, the first stage was recovered in April 1990 and returned to Woomera some 600 kilometres south.




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Anniversaries - 1st man-made object in space (65th) & Sputnik 1 (50th)

Yes, off topic. These aren't Australian, but they are arguably two of the most significant rocket launches in history.

I'm going to borrow from Ivan Safranov Space Video Archive. Be sure to check the rest of his site out - it has some great content.


Click above image for video - 20 sec; 0,7 Mb

First successful launch of V-2 rocket was conducted on October 3, 1942 year from missile range at Penemunde situated at Uzedom Island in Baltic Sea. The designer of the missile was Wernher von Braun. At that date first man-made rocket reach the Space. (matthew's note - Additional reference)


Click above image for video - 34 sec; 1,3 Mb

On October 4,1957 year at 7:28 pm. The First man made Satellite Sputnik was successfully launched into Space from Turatam missile range at Kazakhstan by Sputnik 8K71PS Space booster (Serial M1-PS). Sputnik had a shape of the sphere with the diameter of 58 centimeters and weight of 83.6 kilograms. It has 2 radio transmitter with the frequency of 20,005 and 40,002 Mhz. Sputnik was in flight until January 4,1958 year and made 1,440 orbits around the Earth.


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Mysterious hexagon spotted above Saturn

From Daily News:-

A mysterious giant hexagon lies above Saturn's north pole, captured by cameras on Nasa's Cassini Orbiter.

Spanning 25,000km - equivalent to the width of two planet Earths - the bizarre geometric feature appears to remain virtually still in the atmosphere as clouds swirl around it.


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