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Fifty years ago, on 29 November 1967, Australia became one of the earliest nations to place its own satellite in orbit, with the successful launch of WRESAT-1 (Weapons Research Establishment Satellite) from the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia.

The WRESAT achievement crowned a decade of space activities at Woomer that led to Australia being recognised as a significant spacefaring nation during the Space Race of the 1960s.

Join Kerrie Dougherty at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts as she marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of WRESAT and 70th anniversary of the Woomera Rocket Range with a fascinating talk about its history and how it became the hub of early space activities in Australia and the space-related projects conducted there between 1957 and 1980.

How did early Australian space science using sounding rockets lead to the development of Australia’s first satellite? Find out in this intriguing glimpse into Australia’s space history.

Kerrie Dougherty is a freelance curator and space historian and the author of “Australia in Space”. Formerly Curator of Space Technology at the Powerhouse Museum (1988-2014), she is an acknowledged expert on Australia’s space history and was awarded the 2015 Sacknoff Prize for Space History. Kerrie is an elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and serves on its History of Astronautics Committee.


When: Wednesday 29 November 2017, 12:30-1:30pm.
Where: Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost: Free – no bookings required
Contact: 02 9262 7300 or