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Spotlight on becoming an astronaut & the Melbourne Space Program - ACRUX-2 Mission

First of all, I am extremely excited to be a part of the space industry! I must admit that upon my acceptance to this program, I cried out of excitement! I couldn’t believe I was about to join the space program in Australia!

What is the purpose of the ACRUX-2 mission?

Currently, there is a strong focus and concern on space debris due to the more frequent satellite missions. Space debris is essentially junk in space. It consists of mostly satellites that are non-functional meaning they no longer work due to a malfunction or lack of fuel.

According to a recent study, in 2015 there were approximately 17,000 orbiting objects and 77% was space debris.

At the Melbourne Space Program (MSP) we want to address this issue!

The ACRUX-2 mission will be focusing on a de-orbiting technology to address space debris. Now that’s exciting! I will be learning from scratch how to build this purposeful 3U satellite.

The other day, I was talking to one of my mentors, Steve Agid, who was the commentator of 60 missions including the Hubble Telescope. He shined some light on the overall structure and process of this satellite and confirmed that indeed, even though the payload is much smaller compared to NASA missions, we are learning the correct procedures and processes and what it takes to launch a payload to space!

This makes me extremely excited and passionate! This experience is getting me one step closer to my astronaut dream! For now, I cannot wait to see our ACRUX-2 satellite orbit around earth!

With thanks - this article was written by Celene Meraz Benavente.

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