RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Australian Science"

Space boost for Aussie research

Australia from space

Three new projects have been given the green light under the Australian Space Research Program.

IMPROVING THE WAY SATELLITES move in orbit, having more accurate weather predictions and creating a new education pathway for science and engineering students are the possibilities that will stem from the Federal Government’s $6.1 million investment in new space research and education projects.

Announcing three new projects under Round 4 of the Australian Space Research Program (ASRP), Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said discoveries in space science may help solve some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest challenges.

“Space science is no longer about a race to the Moon. Rather, it has the power and potential to help us address major issues that affect our quality of life like health care, food production and climate change,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia’s space and engineering research is among the best in the world—Excellence in Research for Australia showed 85 per cent or more of the units assessed in the space sciences and related areas of engineering are world standard or above—and our space-related industries are growing.”

Through the ASRP, South Australian company Vipac Engineers & Scientists will partner with research bodies to develop a sensor to improve the measurement of greenhouse gases. The Government is investing $2.3 million in this project, which will help better detect climate change and predict the weather.

The Australian National University will partner with national and international industry bodies to develop a better propulsion system for satellites and deep-space missions.

Exhaust of a plasma thruster in a laboratory experiment at ANU.

Exhaust of a plasma thruster in a laboratory experiment at ANU.

The Australian Plasma Thruster project will aim to develop a spaceflight-ready Australian plasma thruster design based on the helicon double layer technology invented and developed at the Australian National University.

If successful it will find a market in satellite propulsion systems, including for station-keeping, end-of-life satellite insertion into graveyard orbits, and ultimately for deep space missions.

The $3.1 million in funding will also help build a space simulation facility at the ANU. The facility will be a research hub for space scientists, astronomers and industry bodies looking to develop space equipment.

Supporting the next generation of researchers, the University of New South Wales will partner with national and international space industry bodies and use their $675,000 grant to formulate and deliver a two-year Masters degree program in satellite systems engineering.

The aim is to help address the current education gap and help prepare graduates with industry experience for Australia’s developing space industry.

Adapted from information issued by the Australian Government.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Australia from Space: Part 2

Kimberley shoreline, Western Australia

The Kimberley is a large region in northern Western Australia. Bordered on the north by the Timor Sea, it is the place where the ancestors of Australia's indigenous inhabitants are thought to have landed after crossing from the Indonesian archipelago. This image shows only a small part of the Kimberley coastline.

THESE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES of the Australian coastline and islands were taken by European astronaut Paolo Nespoli from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS circles the globe in every 91 minutes, with different parts of our planet’s surface visible underneath each orbit as the Earth rotates.

Elizabeth Reef

Elizabeth Reef in the Tasman Sea, is a coral reef that measures about 8 kilometres long by 5.5 kilometres wide. It is located 45 kilometres from Middleton Reef (see next photo), 160 kilometres from Lord Howe Island, and a little over 500 kilometres from the coast of New South Wales. The reef, normally almost fully submerged except at low tide, has claimed a number of shipwrecks during the years, including a yacht in 2007, whose lone British sailor was winched to safety by a Royal Australian Navy helicopter.

Middleton Reef

Middleton Reef is a twin of Elizabeth Reef, located only 45 kilometres away, and around 200 kilometres from Lord Howe Island. It's almost the same size too, being just 8.9 kilometres long by 6.3 kilometres wide. Like Elizabeth Reef, Middleton is almost entirely submerged except at low tide.

King Sound, Western Australia

King Sound is a gulf in northwestern Western Australia, fed by the Fitzroy River. It has the highest tides in Australia, reaching a height of 11.4 metres at Derby, a town on the shore of the Sound. William Dampier was the first European to explore the Sound, in 1688 aboard the ship Cygnet. This image shows only a small part of the Sound, the full dimensions of which are 120 kilometres in length by 50 kilometres width.

Section of the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef, which stretches 2,600 kilometres along Queensland's coastline, is the world's largest reef system. It has almost 3,000 separate reefs, around 900 islands and covers an area of just under 350,000 square kilometres. This image shows only a tiny part of it.

Adapted from information issued by ESA / NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

What’s up? Night sky for May 2011

Stargazers looking at the sky

May will be a great month for planet watchers, with four bright planets visible to the east before dawn.

THIS WILL BE A FANTASTIC MONTH for planet watchers, with a series of attractive close groupings in the eastern morning sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter will be in the same part of the sky, and you’ll get the chance to watch their shifting positions as the month progresses.

Why do they appear to move around relative to each other? It’s because they’re on independent orbits about the Sun and travelling at different speeds. The Earth is moving around the Sun too, and our shifting perspective adds to the apparent sky motion. In fact, the word ‘planet’ comes from the Greek, and means ‘wandering star’.

Except where indicated, all of the phenomena described here can be seen with the unaided eye. And unless otherwise specified, dates and times are for the Australian Eastern Standard Time zone, and sky directions are from the point of view of an observer in the Southern Hemisphere.

May 1

There’ll be a fantastic planetary get-together in this morning’s eastern sky. First, Jupiter and Mars will be just less than half a degree (roughly one Moon width) apart. Jupiter will be the brighter, whitish-coloured one on the right, with ruddy-coloured Mars on the left. Also present will be the crescent Moon … below and to the left of the planet Venus, and left of the planet Mercury, and above and to the left of the Jupiter-Mars pair. It’ll be a fantastic sight! Why not try taking a photo of it?

May 3

New Moon occurs today at 3:51pm Sydney time (06:51 Universal Time).

The Moon

The Moon is always a popular target for stargazers.

May 7

The planets Venus and Mercury will be side-by-side in this morning’s eastern sky, only 1.5 degrees apart (about three Moon widths).

May 8

Mercury, the innermost planet, will be at its greatest angular distance (27 degrees) from the Sun this morning.

May 11

It is First Quarter Moon today at 5:33am Sydney time (May 10, 20:33 Universal Time). The period around First Quarter is a good time to look at the Moon through a telescope, as the sunlight angle means the craters and mountains throw nice shadows, making it easier to get that 3D effect.

Also this evening, the Moon will appear close to Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo. The amazing thing about Regulus is that, although to the naked eye it appears to be one star, in reality it is composed of four stars grouped into two pairs, all gravitationally bound to each other! This sort of thing is not too uncommon, as many other stars are members of double, triple or quadruple systems too.

May 12

Another planetary grouping in this morning’s eastern sky, with Venus only half a degree (one Moon width) to the right of Jupiter, and Mercury about three Moon widths above and to the left.

May 14

This evening the almost-full Moon will be perched about 7 degrees above the planet Saturn.

May 15

Tonight the Moon, just a smidge short of being full, will be only 1.5 degrees (about three Moon widths) above and to the right of the star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Spica is a blue giant star, 7.4 times as big as our Sun, and the 15th-brightest star in our night sky. Also today, the Moon will be at the closest point in its orbit around the Earth, called perigee. The distance between the two bodies will be 362,133 kilometres.

Diagram showing planets in the morning sky

Four planets are visible in the morning sky. This diagram shows the view on May 16.

May 16

Yet another arrangement of planets in our morning sky to the east. Venus will be about three Moon widths below and to the left of Mercury, about eight Moon widths below and to the right of Jupiter, and about six Moon widths above ruddy-coloured Mars.

May 17

Full Moon occurs today at 8:09pm Sydney time (11:09 Universal Time).

May 18

Tonight, look for the Moon about four degrees (eight Moon widths) below and to the left of Antares. Antares is a red supergiant star, the brightest star in the constellation Leo and the 16th-brightest star in our night sky. And get this—Antares is 800 times the diameter of our Sun, so you can see why they call it a supergiant!

May 22-31

Venus, Mars and Mercury will do a dance with each other in the morning sky over the final week of the month, in close proximity to one another. Have a look each morning and see how the arrangement has changed.

May 25

It is Last Quarter Moon today at 3:52am Sydney time (May 24, 18:52 Universal Time).

May 27

Today the Moon will reach the farthest point in its orbit, apogee, at a distance from Earth of 405,003 kilometres.

May 30-31

The crescent Moon will join the Mars, Venus, Mercury triplet in the morning sky.

And here’s Melbourne Planetarium‘s fabulous astronomer, Tanya Hill, to show us what the month’s sky will look like in motion:

If you have any questions or comments on the night sky, we’d be happy to answer them. Please use the Feedback Form below. Happy stargazing!

Images courtesy IAU / TWAN / Babak A. Tafreshi / Andreas O. Jaunsen / IYA2009 / Galileoscope.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

More funding for Aus-NZ Super Scope bid

Artist's impression of dishes that will make up the SKA radio telescope.

Artist's impression of dishes that will make up the SKA radio telescope.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE an extra $40.2 million over four years to support Australia’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), in partnership with New Zealand.

The SKA will be the largest and most advanced radio telescope ever constructed. It will consist of thousands of antennae, spread out across a continent and connected by a fibre-optic network, with the data it generates processed by a powerful supercomputer.

Australia is an ideal candidate to host the SKA, thanks to the data and speed capabilities of the National Broadband Network, our large tracts of radio-quiet land and our research strengths in astronomy, the physical sciences and ICT.

Australia’s joint bid with New Zealand is one of two short-listed to host the SKA, with a final decision on the site expected early in 2012.

This funding will assist Australia’s bid and support pre-construction design and development work if the bid is successful.

Attracting global investment in this massive technologically advanced project to Australia will generate spin-off returns for business.

Researchers and engineers from the world’s leading institutions will work together on the SKA, developing the next generation technologies the project will demand. In turn, Australia’s research community will build their skills and expand their networks.

They can use those same capabilities to create cutting-edge products for consumers in computing, in renewable energy and in communications.

By the end of 2011 the SKA programme will be ready to transition to the detailed design and pre-construction engineering phase.

Adapted from information issued by the office of Senator the Hon Kim Carr. Images courtesy SPDO.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Australia from space

Astronaut photo of the Petermann Ranges

The Petermann Ranges span 320 kilometres from eastern Western Australia into southwestern Northern Territory. The Range has been classified as a site of National Significance and lies within the proposed Katiti-Petermann Indigenous Protected Area.

THESE AMAZING IMAGES of selected landmarks in Australia were taken by European astronaut Paolo Nespoli during his current six-month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS circles the globe in every 91 minutes, with different parts of our planet’s surface visible underneath each orbit as the Earth rotates.

Astronaut photo of Prominent Hill Mine

Prominent Hill Mine is a gold, silver and copper mine in northwest South Australia. Currently owned and operated by OZ Minerals, sale of the mine to the Chinese company Minmetals Australia Pty Ltd was blocked by the Australian Government on national security grounds…the mine is located within a high-security military area.

Astronaut photo of Mount Conner

Mount Conner is a flat-topped mountain in the Northern Territory, rising 300 metres above ground level (or 859 metres above mean sea level). It is thought to be part of the same sub-surface rock substrate that lies beneath the more famous Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata-Tjuta (the Olgas).

Astronaut photo of Lake Gairdner

Lake Gairdner is a huge salt lake in central South Australia, about 450 kilometres northwest of Adelaide. It is approximately 160 kilometres long and 50 kilometres wide, and in some places the salt deposits are over a metre thick. When flooded, it is deemed the fourth-largest salt lake in Australia, and it has hosted numerous land speed record attempts.

Astronaut photo of Queensland's Sunshine Coast

Queensland's Sunshine Coast is an expanse of coastline north of Brisbane that takes in the towns Noosa Heads, Maroochydore and Caloundra.

Images courtesy ESA / NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Super Science with the SKA

THE SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY (SKA) will be a new generation radio telescope 50 times more powerful than current instruments. It will be built in the Southern Hemisphere, either in Africa or Australia-New Zealand where the view of the Galaxy is the best and there is little radio interference.

An international project involving some 20 countries, the SKA will be one of the largest and most ambitious science projects ever devised. It has an estimated construction cost of €1.5 billion and a total cost of €9 billion ($13 billion) over its expected 50-year lifetime.

In this video, Professor Peter Quinn, Director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Western Australia; Dr Brian Boyle, Australasian SKA Director; and other leaders in Australian astronomy, explain why they’re so excited about the SKA.

The decision on whether the joint Australia-New Zealand bid will host the SKA is expected in 2012.

More information:

ICRAR

SKA

CSIRO Astronomy & Space Sciences

Adapted from information issued by ICRAR / NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Astronomy linking Australia and Asia

Australia from space

New radio telescopes are being brought online in India, China, Japan and Korea.

THE LATEST ADVANCES and scientific benefits of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) will be discussed by radio astronomy researchers from the Asia-Oceania region in Perth tomorrow (Wednesday, 3 May 2011).

VLBI connects radio telescopes hundreds to thousands of kilometres apart, creating a telescope the size of a continent. With such a telescope, the sky can be viewed in amazing detail, with a resolution of a millionth of a degree.

About 40 researchers from 16 organisations will attend the Advances in Asia and Oceania Toward Very Long Baseline Interferometry in the Age of the Square Kilometre Array, held at the Perth Zoo from 4-6 May.

Professor Steven Tingay, ICRAR Deputy Director, said rapid and impressive advances in VLBI were taking place throughout Asia and Oceania.

Artist's impression of SKA radio astronomy dishes

Artist's impression of SKA radio astronomy dishes

“With the high level of technical expertise in the region and new radio telescopes being brought online in India, China, Japan and Korea, it is timely to come together and discuss VLBI and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA),” Professor Tingay said.

Participants will discuss VLBI projects throughout Asia and Oceania as well as what scientific benefits the SKA can provide for the region. The techniques behind VLBI are exactly the same as will be used for the SKA.

When complete, the SKA will be the largest radio astronomy instrument ever constructed and may be situated in the Asia/Oceania region if the Australia and New Zealand bid is successful.

The workshop is sponsored by the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, CSIRO and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

ICRAR is a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia providing research excellence in the field of radio astronomy.

Adapted from information issued by Curtin University. Earth images courtesy NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

New Australian astronomy centre

Australia from space

Astronomy is booming in Australia, and the new Macquarie Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics Research Centre aims to be among the best in the nation.

THE MACQUARIE ASTRONOMY, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics Research Centre (MQRC AAA) has been officially launched.

The research centre, led by Professor Quentin Parker, has ties to over 100 national and international universities, observatories, research institutions and commercial companies in 23 countries.

This solid network will provide for effective multi-national collaborative research programs and partnerships with some of the world’s leading institutions.

With its planned growth in research, the centre is predicted to soon be among the top four astronomy cohorts in Australia, alongside the Australian National University, the University of Sydney and Swinburne University.

Apart from many exciting mainstream astrophysics research programs and strong growth in the emerging field of cutting-edge astrophotonics, the centre has many other major projects already underway.

One example is the Macquarie University-led $2.4 million dollar ARC supported project ‘Space to Grow’ which combines astronomers with educational, ICT and science teaching experts to engage high school students in science using the hook of astronomy.

At the cutting edge

Macquarie has emerged as a world leader in the discovery and study of planetary nebulae in our galaxy and Large Magellanic Cloud. Knowledge of planetary nebulae—the death throes of many types of stars—is important to understand the evolution of stars, the spread of chemical elements through space, among others fields.

The Ring Nebula

Planetary nebulae are a focus of research at Macquarie

“Macquarie is playing a key role in unravelling the complexities of these fascinating phenomena,” Professor Parker told SpaceInfo.

“We are also strong in galactic archaeology—the ‘genetic’ finger-printing of vast numbers of stars in our galaxy to expose the fossil record of how the Milky Way formed and evolved,” he added.

Radio astronomy is another field where Macquarie intends to increase its profile.

“We have a very strong strategic vision to expand our expertise and involvement in radio astronomy,” said Professor Parker. “This is a tremendous strength of Australian astronomy and, as with our extremely strong links with the AAO, we want to take advantage of our close physical proximity to the ATNF/CASS to develop close-links and projects.”

One of the most exciting technologies in astronomy at the moment is astrophotonics. This is the use of special optical techniques, including fibre optics, to improve the sensitivity and efficiency of major telescopes.

“We are involved in several major projects associated with cutting edge astronomical instrumentation and are working closely with the Australian Astronomical Observatory and Sydney University to create a powerful astrophotonics triumvirate in Sydney,” said Professor Parker.

Collaborative effort

The new MQRC AAA will also have a strong focus on building links to the Indigenous community by engaging the Aboriginal Astronomy Research Group, a group dedicated to researching the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Indigenous Australians.

Professor Parker has been overwhelmed with the support received in order to make this launch possible.

“Thanks must go to Macquarie itself for so strongly supporting astronomy over the last eight years and allowing our potential to be realised,” said Parker.

“We must also thank the Australian Astronomical Observatory, our major external partner and the Australian Research Council whose support has been crucial to our spectacular growth.”

The collaborations that this new centre will encourage are sure to see a strong growth in the outstanding research outputs in astronomy, astrophysics and astrophotonics by Macquarie University in the future.

Adapted from information issued by Macquarie University. Images courtesy NASA.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Data deluge for astronomers

Artist's impression of the LSST

The proposed Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will survey the entire visible sky every week from a mountaintop in Chile.

THE STEREOTYPICAL ASTRONOMER of yesteryear was a patient soul, endlessly gazing skywards searching for a faint glimmer that might lead to a discovery.

But for the astronomers of tomorrow this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Super-sized telescopes currently under development around the world like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), will be so sensitive that information from the rest of the Universe will literally pour from the sky.

Once these data-intensive telescopic beasts come online the challenge for astronomers will no longer be to find the needle in the haystack, but to remove the hay from the pile of needles and choose which are the most likely to further our understanding of the cosmos.

To tackle this data challenge head on, two organisations on opposite sides of the planet have joined forces.

Artist's impression of SKA dishes

Artist's impression of some of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) dishes. The SKA will produce copious amounts of data that will need to be sifted carefully.

The LSST Corporation in the United States and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Western Australia have signed an agreement to work together on designing common database systems for optical and radio astronomy and research tools that will enable direct comparisons of objects discovered by these optical and radio telescopes.

“This collaboration will give us a great head start in preparing for the enormous data challenges of the SKA and will allow scientists access to both optical and radio data to probe the Universe across all wavelengths,” said ICRAR Director Prof. Peter Quinn

The LSST was ranked the number one project in the US by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey conducted in 2010.

“Once you have separated the incoming data into sources and objects, it makes little difference to the system if the signal is at optical or radio wavelengths,” said Jeff Kantor, Data Management Project Manager.

“So it makes sense to join forces with ICRAR to find data processing solutions for the enormous databases that will be generated by both of these amazing telescopes.”

Using supercomputers located at the new Pawsey Centre in Perth, ICRAR’s Professor Andreas Wicenec is heading up the international team designing data systems for the SKA radio telescope.

“We expect to detect more than 100 billion objects, which is at least 10 times more than we’ve observed in the last 400 years of astronomy,” said Professor Wicenec. “This represents an immense challenge but potentially huge scientific reward

Adapted from information issued by ICRAR. Images courtesy SPDO / Swinburne Astronomy Productions / Todd Mason, Mason Productions / LSST Corp.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

Aussie space research facility launched

AITC exterior shot

Construction has begun on the second stage of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre at Mount Stromlo near Canberra.

CONSTRUCTION OF A STATE-OF-THE-ART facility to develop and test advanced space science technologies has been officially launched at Mt Stromlo Observatory.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr launched the building of phase two of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC-2).

The new one-of-a-kind facility, funded under the Education Investment Fund program, will initially support development of the international, billion-dollar Giant Magellan Telescope and a number of Australian Space Research Program projects.

The Australian projects include supplying broadband Internet access to research teams in Antarctica; taking gravity field measurements for water management across Australia and monitoring the movement of dangerous space debris.

Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Mt Stromlo, Professor Harvey Butcher, said that the goal is to make the AITC a national centre for university, government and industry collaboration.

“This new building aims to provide a ‘one stop shop’ to develop and test small satellites for remote sensing and telecommunications, as well as instruments for astronomy and astrophysics,” said Professor Butcher.

“The assembly of such precision equipment requires high-quality clean rooms, vacuum chambers, test benches and a vibration table designed to test the dynamical behaviour of instrumentation, for example such as occurs during launching into orbit.”

“Astronomy is remote sensing at its most remote, and the facility will be available for use by the remote sensing community from universities, government organisations and commercial industry,” he added.

“An important focus will be collaboration with industry, including a partnership with EOS Space Systems to develop Adaptive Optics—a technology capable of de-blurring images made through the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Adapted from information issued by ANU.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…