WRESAT

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WRESAT
Mission duration Data: 73 orbits
Total: 642 orbits
Total: ~42 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Weapons Research Establishment
Launch mass 45 kilograms (99 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 29 November 1967 (1967-11-29)
Rocket Sparta
Launch site Woomera LA-8
End of mission
Decay date 10 January 1968
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth

WRESAT (abbreviation for: Weapons Research Establishment Satellite) was the name of the first Australian satellite. It was named after its designer.

WRESAT was launched on 29 November 1967 using a modified American Redstone rocket with two upper stages known as a Sparta from the Woomera Test Range in South Australia. The Sparta (left over from the joint Australian-US-UK Sparta program), was donated by the United States. The launch made Australia the seventh nation to launch an Earth satellite and the fourth nation to launch one from its own territory (the UK, Canada and Italy's satellites were launched on American rockets).[1]

WRESAT weighed 45 kg (99 lb) and had the form of a cone with a length of 1.59 m (5 ft 3 in) and a mouth diameter of .76 m (2 ft 6 in). It remained connected with the third rocket stage and possessed with it an overall length of 2.17 m (7 ft 1 in). WRESAT circled the Earth on a nearly polar course, until it reentered the atmosphere after 642 revolutions on 10 January 1968, over the Atlantic Ocean. The battery-operated satellite sent data during its first 73 orbits of the Earth.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First time in History". The Satellite Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 

External links[edit]