La Trobe University Launched Into Outer Space

Victoria has further cemented itself as a leader in space technology with an advanced high-resolution camera, designed to more accurately monitor the Earth’s ecosystem, launched into space.

The camera, developed and constructed by the German Aerospace Centre in partnership with La Trobe University, was launched at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida onboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket overnight.

The camera will take three days to reach the International Space Station, where it will be integrated onto the station’s imaging platform to monitor bushfires, floods, ash clouds, storms, rainfall, and drought across the world.

Once installed, the camera will transmit data to the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at La Trobe and to ESS Weathertech – a Melbourne-based company specialising in designing and manufacturing satellite ground stations, who have established a ground station to receive imagery.

The partnership between La Trobe and the German Aerospace Centre is the first of its kind for an Australian university and demonstrates Victoria’s capabilities in developing and manufacturing space technology.

The Andrews Labor Government has stepped up its campaign for Victoria to play a key role in the new Australian Space Agency, which would grow our already thriving space industry – creating jobs and boosting the economy.

Victoria has the experience and knowhow to make sure the new agency thrives. With one in five Australian space-related science and technology companies based here, we are well positioned to coordinate national and international collaboration on space and attract global investment.

Some of the world’s biggest names in aerospace – including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems – carry out aerospace research, development and manufacturing in Victoria.

The global space industry is forecast to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040. Victoria can help boost Australia’s share of this market to tens of billions of dollars, potentially creating 20,000 jobs across the country.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll

“We know that Victoria is a world-leader in space technology and the German Aerospace Centre’s partnership with La Trobe University cements that position.”

“This high-resolution camera is a real game-changer – it’ll help monitor natural disasters and environmental changes across the globe, some 400 kilometres in outer space.”

Quotes attributable to La Trobe Engineering Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence Dr Peter Moar

“La Trobe University is very much at the forefront of space technology – this project cements Victoria’s position as world-leader for space research and engineering.”

“This is a ground-breaking achievement for engineering in Australia and will help governments and emergency services world-wide.