The first satellite built in Australia in over thirty years,
FedSat, will carry out joint scientific experiments for both
Australia and Japan.

The satellite, weighing about sixty kilograms, will be
launched around December from Tanegashima Space Centre by the
National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) on their
H-IIA rocket.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Satellite Systems (CRCSS),
which developed the spacecraft –– will supply NASDA with
scientific data from the flight, in exchange for the launch

FedSat is the first foreign satellite to be launched on the
H-IIA vehicle.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Geoff Garrett will sign an agreement
today on behalf of the participants of the CRCSS, which
comprises Australian universities, companies and government
research organisations, including CSIRO.

“This is a landmark agreement which demonstrates the value of
Australian science and technology” says Dr Garrett. “We have
extremely high hopes for FedSat, which will end a long
drought in Australian satellite flights. The scientific data
it returns will be helpful for our own research, and will
also contribute to research efforts in Japan. The two
countries have cooperated on scientific space projects and
practical applications of space technology for decades and we
are delighted to continue and strengthen this collaboration.”

NASDA was formed in 1969 and now oversees one of the largest
space programs in the world. “This cooperation through FedSat
is a very significant mission for NASDA, especially since it
will be the very first foreign satellite onboard the H-IIA
together with the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite II
(ADEOS-II). We would like to accomplish our role by launching
FedSat successfully, and hope that FedSat will greatly
benefit our scientific research. We are pleased to share this
journey of FedSat with our colleagues in Australia”, said
NASDA President Mr Shuichiro Yamanouchi, who also signed the

The FedSat microsatellite project commenced in 1998, and is
designed to demonstrate Australia’s capability to design,
build and operate small satellites. The spacecraft will
carry advanced communication, space science, navigation and
computing payloads. Data from the scientific payloads will
contribute to international research programs, and to the
research projects of up to 100 graduate students and staff
of the Centre.

On 1 May 2002, Prime Minister John Howard and Japanese Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi noted, in a joint statement, the
two countries’ impending cooperation on the FedSat mission.

The H-IIA rocket, over 53 m tall, is able to carry up to 6
tonnes into geostationary orbit, and a larger amount into
lower orbits. It is powered by solid-fuel strap on boosters
and cryogenic main engines burning liquid hydrogen and
oxygen. FedSat is expected to be launched on the rocket’s
fourth flight, which will also power the Earth observation
satellite ADEOS-II and two Japanese piggy-back satellites
into low Earth orbit at about 800 km altitude.

FedSat is the first satellite built in Australia since
WRESAT and Oscar V in the period 1967-1970. The satellite
was built by a team of about 15 engineers and scientists at
the CRCSS Project Office at Auspace Limited in Mitchell, a
suburb of Canberra. Most of the payloads were developed in
other CRCSS laboratories in NSW, Queensland and South
Australia. The United States National Aeronautics and Space
Administration supplied one payload.

The H-IIA is about the same length as the Space Shuttle and
is Japan’s indigenous launch vehicle. It operates from the
new Yoshinobu Launch Range at Tanegashima Space Centre, on
the island of Tanegashima approximately 900 km southwest
of Tokyo. Since 1975, nearly forty satellites have been
successfully launched from the Centre.

More information from:

Dr Brian Embleton
02-6216 7280, 0418 624 548


H-IIA launch vehicle: