Australia a step closer to a moon landing

21/03/2023 | 2 mins

Australia is one step closer to a Moon landing after the Government announced the Australian Remote Operations for Earth and Space (AROSE) consortium has been chosen for Stage 1 of the Australian Space Agency’s flagship Trailblazer lunar rover program. 

The University of Western Australia is a founding member of AROSE, and three Nodes of the International Space Centre are contributing to the program.

Professor Gia Parish, Director of the Defence and Security Institute at UWA and a Director on the Board of AROSE, said everyone was tremendously proud and excited that the University had been a founding partner of AROSE as well as participating in the successful Trailblazer bid. 

"We look forward to the contributions our researchers will make to Australia's lunar rover in areas such as data, sensing, robotics and more," Professor Parish said.

 The rover, which aims to launch by 2026, is part of the NASA Moon to Mars mission which will be a major step towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon and supporting future missions to Mars.


Artist impression of the AROSE Rover

Image: Artist impression of the AROSE Rover.

The Trailblazer program will see Australia design, build, test and operate a lunar foundation services rover for NASA’s return to the surface of the Moon.

NASA has asked Australia to provide the lunar rover due to our world-leading expertise in remote operations and automation technology, developed through our resources industry.

The Trailblazer program requires the rover to be operated remotely to collect lunar soil and deliver it to a NASA processing facility to extract oxygen. 

AROSE’s Trailblazer Stage 1 is led by two members of the consortium: Fugro, the creators of Australia’s Space Automation, AI and Robotics Control Complex; and Australian-owned engineering services and technology solutions company Nova Systems.

Professor Thomas Braunl, from UWA’s School of Engineering, Professor Andreas Wicenec, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, and Associate Professor Dilusha Silva, from UWA’s School of Engineering, participated in the bid.

The International Space Centre is excited about AROSE’s success in the program, and is proud to contribute through the Robotics and Automation Node, Data Intensive Astronomy and Avionics for Sensing and Imaging (Satellite Remote Sensing). 

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA Media & PR Manager) 08 6488 3229

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