The Governor using VR technology
The Governor using VR technology in the Hive at Curtin Space Science and Technology Centre

Curtin Space Science Technology Centre – Leading the way

The Governor visited the Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) at Curtin University and was introduced to the advancements Curtin students are making these fields. Professor Phil Bland – Director of Space Science and Technology and Research Ambassador Renae Sayers showed the Governor around the campus starting with “The Hive” (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch).

This is where the Governor was able to step onto Mars inside a giant crater made by an asteroid strike. Using VR technology, transportation was instantaneous giving the experience of standing on Earths nearest celestial neighbor where not even the Mars Rover has been before.

The Governor using VR
Immersive experience on Mars using VR

Mars has an average of 94 Million craters on the planets surface and the team at SSTC has been creating a crater detection algorithm to calculate these craters. This new tech is completing this task in 24 hrs which previously would have taken years. They are also investigating known orbits of asteroids and meteors displayed on “The Curve”.

The Governor looking at the orbit of asteroids on a screen
Asteroid and meteor orbits around the sun displayed on “The Curve”

Inside the labs of the CubeSat project, student demonstrated the advancements of their new satellite prototype. Great improvements have been made since the team had shown the Governor on his last visit in February 2019. The Binar spacecraft will also be the technology that helps AROSE – the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth – get WA industry into orbit, furthering our ambition as a nation and our economy as a State.

The Governor with Satellite team
Students showing the Governor the new satellite prototype

This has major significance for WA in industry, defence and STEM opportunities including established partnerships with NASA and Lockheed Martin making SSTC home to the largest planetary research group in the Southern Hemisphere.

Finally, a visit to the world class micro-analytical facilities. This team deal with sample composition in 3D at the atomic scale. This is a cornerstone of our inclusion on multiple sample return mission teams and position WA for unique international partnerships.

The Governor standing in front of large microscope
Lab analysis equipment measuring the composition in 3D at the atomic scale

This lab is able to create 3D representation of specimens, breaking the elements down at an atomic level to within a 5th of a micron. By pulling apart the sample in this manner, it enables the team to derive the origin of the sample.

The Governor looking at computer program
Specimen composition breakdown

The work of the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University is a key part of the West Australian ground swell in space and related technologies. This will position WA for a bright future in the 4th industrial age.”


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