Aussie-made loaf-sized satellite launched

Rebecca Gredley

A satellite the size of a loaf of bread has risen to the challenge and is communicating with an Australian ground station after launch.

The M2 Pathfinder is a collaboration between UNSW Canberra Space and the Royal Australian Air Force.

It was designed, assembled and tested in just 10 months.

The mini satellite was launched on Friday in New Zealand and has connected with UNSW Canberra Space's satellite ground station near Yass.

UNSW Canberra Space director Russell Boyce says the satellite will help Australia's future space capabilities.

"Space systems will be integral in solving the challenges our world will face in the future, for example assisting with resource management, secure communications, and data collection during extreme weather events," he said.

"Australia has a role to play in solving these problems, both for our own economic security and as responsible global citizens."

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says the M2 Pathfinder will also help the military with future designs.

"The collaboration between UNSW Canberra and Air Force allows small satellites to be used for evaluating technologies on more complex space systems, such as communications or earth observation satellites," she said.

Communications tests will be made with the satellite over coming months.