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Australia's History in Satellite Technology


There have only ever been a handful of Australian-made or owned satellites (and a few more satellite projects that weren't successful):

  • Australis-OSCAR 5, Australia's first satellite and the only successful Australian amateur satellite, made in 1966 but not launched until January 1970.
  • WRESAT, the first Australian-made satellite to be launched into space, made in 1967 and launched from Woomera late that year.
  • AUSSAT A-series, the first nationally-owned communication satellites, launched in the mid-1980s and still in service, now renamed the Optus A-series.
  • Optus B-series,
    the successor to the Optus A-series, launched in the early 1990s and now the mainstay of C&W Optus' satellite communication business.
  • WESTPAC, the Western Pacific Laser Tracking Network (WPLTN) satellite, launched in July 1998 and owned by Canberra-based Electro Optic Systems Pty Limited (EOS).
  • FedSat-1, the Federation Satellite, an initiative of the Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems, originally due to be launched in late 2001 to celebrate Australia's centenary of federation.
  • Optus C-series, comprising a single Space Systems / Loral 1300-series satellite launched on an Ariane 4 in mid-2003.
  • Optus D-series, currently comprising a pair of satellites under construction in the United States.

ASRI has been involved in the design and construction of small satellites since 1988 and maintains an active Satellite Program.