Didymos (bottom right) and its smaller moonlet Dimorphos (center) were the targets of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully showed that it is possible to crash a spacecraft into a small asteroid. Whether the approach could save Earth from a future threat remains to be seen.
There is a U.S. flag on the Moon, but in the future, countries may start to turn access to the Moon and asteroids into serious wealth.
NASA/Neil A. Armstrong
Current trends suggest that powerful nations are defining the rules of resource use in space and satellite access in ways that will make it hard for developing nations to ever catch up.
Shrinking satellites are making it cheaper and more accessible to do science in space.
The CUAVA-1 satellite departs from the International Space Station.
The CUAVA-1 cubesat will monitor space weather and changes to Earth’s ionosphere that affect satellites and electronics.
Thousands of the satellites orbiting Earth are small – like this cubical satellite seen here being released from the International Space Station.
In the past decade, the number of satellites in orbit has skyrocketed thanks to tiny electronics and cheap launches. The crowded night sky is posing problems for astronomers and astronauts.
Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson
Ten small satellites were launched from 11km above Earth’s surface.
Two CubeSats, part of a constellation built and operated by Planet Labs Inc. to take images of Earth, were launched from the International Space Station on May 17, 2016.
SpaceX and other companies are rushing to put thousands of small, inexpensive satellites in orbit, but pressure to keep costs low and a lack of regulation leave those satellites vulnerable to hackers.
The electromagnetic spectrum we can access with current technologies is completely occupied. This means experts have to think of creative ways to meet our rocketing demands for data.
Free space optical communication will allow the same connectivity in space we already have on Earth. And this will provide benefits across a number of sectors.
Artist concept of lunar flashlight.
NASA and the European Space Agency are planning a series of lunar missions using tiny ‘CubeSats’ to map the moon for resources.
Hundreds of CubeSats are now being launched into space each year.
How do you train space engineers? You enable college students to build mini satellites, called CubeSats, launch them into space and help them collect the data.
SpaceX’s 3 December Falcon 9 rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base USA was carrying Australian small satellites.
If the Australian space industry is to grow and create thousands of jobs then we need new policy around satellites to meet the challenges involved.
Should schools be charged large sums to teach students about space science?
Will new communications licensing costs make small satellites so expensive that they can’t be used for student education?
The Mayak satellite will unfold a giant reflective pyramid that will be seen from Earth.
It promises to be one of the brightest objects in the night sky once the Mayak satellite unfolds a giant pyramid reflector. But what is it going to do?
Impression of one UNSW’s three miniature satellites launched into space this year.
AAP Image/University of NSW
We don’t need another review of Australia’s space industry, we just need a space agency.
An artist’s impression of the UNSW-EC0 cubesat in Earth’s orbit.
Australia’s hoping to take a share of the billion-dollar space industry with the launch of its first totally Australian-built satellites in 15 years.
Tiny CubeSats are ready to be our eyes in the skies.
Earth Background: NASA; HARP Spacecraft: SDL; Montage: Martins, UMBC
As technology advances, tiny satellites no bigger than a loaf of bread have advanced from just proving they work to being big contributors in answering science questions.
NASA/Northrop Grumman/William Furlong
Plans to send a satellite around the moon using fuel from water point to a renewable future.
There are jobs to be created if Australia does more to tap into the billion-dollar space industry.
Increasing Australia’s role in the billion-dollar global space industry has hardly raised a mention in this year’s federal election campaign.
CubeSats upon release from the International Space Station.
Just about anyone can get a tiny, cheap satellite into orbit these days. As we consider how to deploy them responsibly, inspiration comes from an amateur community of enthusiasts.
Not bigger than a loaf of bread.
Earlier this year, the Russian Federal Space Agency received a hand-luggage-sized delivery from the UK. It came with a request to launch the contents aboard a rocket, along with the Russian three-tonne…