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NASA accepts Australian telescope for space flight



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TECNNOLOGY THE HON. ROSS FREE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY 23 JULY 1991 97/91

NASA ACCEPTS AUSTRALIAN TELESCOPE FOR SPACE FLIGHT

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Australia's Endeavour space telescope is to receive its first

images on board a United States shuttle in January 1992,

following its acceptance by NASA for the flight.

In a joint announcement today, the Minister for Industry,

Technology and Commerce, Senator John Button, and the Minister

for Science and Technology, Mr Ross Free, said the

Government-funded Endeavour project is one of a number of

initiatives under a revitalised National Space Program.

"The Endeavour telescope is the most complex space payload yet

built in this country and marks a major advance in Australia's

high-technology capability," Senator Button said.

"It will obtain images for Australian astronomers working at the

forefront of galactic research".

Built by Auspace L td, of Canberra, in collaboration with other

Australian companies, Endeavour is Australia's first indigenous

space payload for more than two decades.

The Government has fully funded Endeavour through the Australian

Space Office in the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce. ‘

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MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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"Australian engineers and technologists have designed and made

an ultraviolet radio telescope to the rigorous quality and

performance standards demanded by the US National Aeronautics

and Space Administration," Mr Free said.

"Endeavour is designed to survive shuttle-launch forces and to

operate faultlessly in the harsh environment of space.

"Its photon-counting array is designed and built as a 'space

qualified' device and for subsequent use in larger, free-flying

space telescopes. ·

"Once more Australian industry is demonstrating its ability to

design and build world-class equipment for space."

NASA has accepted Endeavour for Shuttle Mission STS-42. A

specialist astronaut will ready Endeavour for observation once

the shuttle is aligned in space.

Onboard computers will control Endeavour's investigation of

violent events in nearby galaxies. ·

The telescope will focus on supernova remnants; emissions from

galactic radio frequency jets, from which it is hoped to unlock

the secrets of the physics of "black holes"; and hot gas

haloes. It will study also the distribution of hot gas within

the Magellanic Clouds. .

The Australian Space Office of the Department of Industry,

Technology and Commerce (DITAC) administers the National Space

Program.

CANBERRA Contact: Dr John Boyd

Australian Space Office

Tel: (06) 276 2240 (W)

Fax: (06) 276 1942 (W)