A high-resolution camera, some of which was developed in Melbourne and fired into space on Friday, is used to control bushfires and monitor the health of the Great Barrier Reef
Earth Observation, built at La Trobe University in Bundoora Spectrum Engine Campus in Melbourne, was launched on Friday night, Melbourne time, aboard the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket by Elon Musk.
It will take three days to reach the International Space Station 400 kilometers above ground, where the device, developed and built by the German Aerospace Center in cooperation with La Trobe, will be installed.
"There will be a three-month start-up phase to ensure that everything is working properly and, ideally, everything is going well. Perhaps October, November will be the earliest images that can be used for commercial purposes," said the Lecturer Trobe University, Peter Moar.
The camera will be sending data to the La Trobe School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and to ESS Weathertech, a Melbourne-based company that has set up a ground station to record the images.
The camera will be installed on the International Space Station and will transmit data to La Trobe University in Melbourne. (supplied by the German Aerospace Center)
Dr. Moar said the camera would orbit the Earth and capture sequences of high-resolution images of the Earth's surface that would have many uses, including supporting emergency services in controlling bushfires  He said farmers could use the images to analyze crops and to optimize their fertilizer use, and governments and researchers could use the images to monitor the health of the Great Barrier Reef, including monitoring water quality, counting runoff of pollutants
"This is a groundbreaking achievement for engineering in Australia and the United States will help governments and emergency services worldwide. " Moar.
Dr. Moar said the camera, which was under construction for three years, was built to withstand the extreme conditions of space, including temperatures of almost zero Kelvin (-273 degrees Celsius) and as high as a few hundred degrees.
It will remain on the International Space Station for four years, where it will be drilled and surveyed to understand the impact of space conditions on the instrument.
Victorian Industry Minister Ben Carroll "The launch of the camera cemented Victoria's position as the" world leader in space technology. "
" As La Trobe University alumni, to see the launch last night, it gave me goosebumps, to the great Sharp Picture Thinking Rocket was designed by students and academics here at La Trobe University in Bundoora, "he said.
The Andrews government lobbies the Government of Turnbull for Victoria to host the new Australian Space Agency.
"This is a very clear example of why the Australian Space Agency is" We're in Victoria, "said Mr Carroll.
" In Victoria, we're not just talking about outer space, we're doing it. " The Andrews government said one in five Australian space-related sciences and technology companies was based in Victoria, and many of the world's leading aerospace companies – including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems – researched, developed and manufactured Federal State.
The global space industry is expected to be worth more than $ 1 trillion by 2040.
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