In 2022, LORDS will be launching a project facilitated by Griffith University, Gold Coast, to design, build and deploy a microsatellite. This exciting project will provide our students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with space technology. Beginning late this year with team building, students will work intensively on the design and build phases during the first half of 2022, in anticipation of an expected launch towards the end of June or early July. Following the launch, it is expected that the satellite will be used for data gathering to support a small number of student-designed scientific experiments. As the final phase of the project, students will write and publish a scientific paper about the experiment that has been conducted. The anticipated publication is in late 2022.

The project will be conducted in partnership with a number of other schools across the Gold Coast and southeast Queensland, Griffith University, and Gilmour Space Technologies. The opportunity this presents for students of LORDS is unprecedented in the Northern Gold Coast, and provides a point of distinction for a LORDS education in which we actively seek community partnerships such as this one.

Professor Paulo de Souza from Griffith University will head up the programme. At Griffith, Professor de Souza is the Head of School for Information and Communication Technology. He has extensive experience in space technology having been a key member of the team that designed and built two of NASA’s Mars rovers. 

The satellite will be a micro cube satellite, which provides a small platform to host the systems needed for the success of the mission. A Gilmour Technologies rocket, the ERIS-1, will be used to launch the satellite. This launch vehicle stands 25 m high, produces over 90 kiloNewtons of thrust, and is able to lift payloads up to 300 kilograms into orbit. The mission parameters for this launch are for the satellite to be placed into a near-Earth orbit of 400 kilometres. At this altitude, the satellite will orbit the earth once every 90 minutes, or 16 times per day.

We are excited to announce this opportunity to our school community.

More to come soon!

Ms Andersson, Mr Blair, and Mr Helbig.