Acrux: The brightest star
The ACRUX CubeSat's are named after Acrux (Alpha Crucis), the brightest star in the Southern Cross, located in the southern hemisphere skies.
Three years in the making. In June 2019, Melbourne-based volunteer students from various Australian universities across multi-disciplinaries designed, built from scratch and successfully launched a working CubeSat satellite called "ACRUX-1" into lower earth orbit on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket mission called Make It Rain. This was part of a ridesharing mission through Spaceflight, a launch service provider.
This is a milestone that had not been achieved by Australian university students since 1970.
ACRUX-2 is the MSP’s next exciting nano-satellite mission that will be focused on the concept of responsible use of space.
Given the success of ACRUX-1, the MSP team have been given permission to think big! The plan is to build and launch a 3U Cubesat. Currently, the project is in the mission planning stage and the finer details of the mission are still to be finalised - so stay tuned for more info!
ROVER PROJECT EXERT
The Mars Rover team is dedicated to building the capability of designing and building a rover suitable for outer space exploration through its participation at the University Rover Challenge 2020. Currently, the rover team is in collaboration with Monash University’s Nova Rover Team.
The University Rover Challenge (URC) is an annual student competition that takes place at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, USA, to design and build a rover that would be of use to early explorers on Mars. This competition is a prestigious podium to showcase individual country’s capabilities by manufacturing a state-of-the-state rover to meet the competition regulations as well as to participate in the rigorous challenges. The team at MSP, consisting of 8 members of the AI and Robotics lab, is exclusively involved in building the software suite required for Rover. This involves autonomous path navigation, object detection, processing of hardware data & sensor suite etc.
Below are our members from MSP working on the rover.
(photo credit: Nova Rover)