First Satellite from Down Under

Forty-five years ago today — November 29, 1967 — Australia launched its first satellite into orbit.

(Construction of Wresat-1. Australian Space Research Institute image.)

Called Wresat 1, the spacecraft was built by the Australian Weapons Research Establishment — the “WRE” in Wresat. The small satellite was launched from Woomera atop a Sparta launch vehicle (a modified Redstone rocket). It sent back data for five days, and deorbited after 42 days.

This Australian Space Research Institute page has additional information on Wresat’s development and launch.

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