The Waratah Seed Consortium will launch its WS-1 satellite mission with Momentus in 2023!

About Waratah Seed

The Waratah Seed Consortium is a partnership between CUAVA, centred at the University of Sydney, ACSER at the University of NSW, Saber Astronautics, Delta-V NewSpace Alliance, Macquarie University, and the University of Technology Sydney.

Working with University and Industry Partners, the Waratah Seed WS-1 6U CubeSat platform is aimed at providing a spaceflight opportunity to NSW space industry start-ups and selected commercial clients, generating development opportunities, space flight heritage, sponsorship and publicity for the NSW space sector in particular, and the Australian space sector in general. 

The NSW Government supports Waratah Seed through Investment NSW’s pilot Space Qualification Mission grant.

SmartSat CRC, SmartSat - NSW Node and SmartSat’s Aurora Space Cluster are providing co-funding for several payloads on the Waratah Seed WS-1 mission.

Raytheon Australia have provided funding towards the costs of joint first-prize winners, EurokaPower and Spiral Blue, flying on WS-1.

About Momentus

Momentus is a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer in-space infrastructure services, including in-space transportation, hosted payloads and in-orbit services. Momentus believes it can make new ways of operating in space possible with its planned in-space transfer and service vehicles that will be powered by an innovative water plasma-based propulsion system that is under development.

Launch Contract Signing

The Waratah Seed Consortium is pleased to announce the signing of a launch contract with US-based space company, Momentus, which will provide space transportation for the WS-1 CubeSat mission.

WS-1 is targeted to launch into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) no earlier than October 2023 aboard the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission, before deploying from a Momentus Vigoride Orbital Service Vehicle.

The Waratah Seed WS-1 mission carries payloads from winners of the WS-1 Payload Competition, run in 2021 to support NSW-based space start-up companies to demonstrate their technology in space and engage new export markets.

Winning Team payloads include:

  • Next-generation perovskite solar cells designed by EurokaPower, a spin-off from the University of Sydney that aims to develop high-efficiency, low-cost space solar cells that could be manufactured in Australia.

  • An innovative space edge computing system designed by Spiral Blue aims to deliver dedicated data processing capable of heavy computation, including machine learning algorithms, onboard Earth observation satellites. The new technology aims to improve the speed, power and heat resistance of onboard computing solutions, as well as potentially offering a ‘pay for use’ database resource.

  • Subsystems and sensors for a robot arm in development by Sperospace, designed to enable on-orbit satellite maintenance, assembly, manufacturing and debris removal using unique tactile grips developed by partners, Contactile;

  • An experimental meta-material developed by Dandelions (that's us!) using natural fibres such as flax and hemp, aims to provide a cost-effective, heat-resistant alternative to carbon fibre for use in spacecraft insulation.

The WS-1 Mission will also carry commercial clients, with the final payload manifest expected to be announced soon.

Professor Iver Cairns, Director of Waratah Seed and CUAVA said:

"We are very excited to have signed two launch contracts with Momentus that will see both our ride-share satellite WS-1 and the CUAVA-2 CubeSat go into space in 2023. Working with Momentus has been very productive and enjoyable, despite the many challenges in developing a complex pilot project like the Waratah Seed."

We’re happy to continue to grow our relationship with CUAVA and support the Waratah Seed mission that provides space access to a new generation of innovators,” said Momentus Chief Executive Officer John Rood. “Space infrastructure services can enable expanded access to space and optimize the use of space, and we’re looking forward to supporting Australia’s first ride-share mission as it seeks to bring new ideas and technologies to the space economy.”

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Alister Henskens said:

NSW is Australia’s leader in space research, with more than a third of the country’s space startups calling NSW home. Supporting space startups helps drive long-term economic growth and ensures we remain at the forefront of emerging space technologies. Through this mission, we’re giving our space startups a pathway to space.”

To find out more about Commercial Client and Sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Waratah Seed.


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