50th anniversary of WRESAT

Release date: 12 September 2017

Fifty years ago, on 29 November 1967, Australia launched its first satellite, WRESAT (Weapons Research Establishment Satellite), from the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia. The satellite was designed, constructed and launched in just 11 months in a collaboration between the Weapons Research Establishment Salisbury (now Defence Science and Technology Group Edinburgh) and the University of Adelaide. The WRESAT project was made possible by the donation of a launch vehicle by an American-led research project being conducted at Woomera as well as their offer to assist in the launch.

Conical in shape, WRESAT and its motor weighed 72.6 kilograms. During its five-day orbit, it gathered a large amount of data on upper-atmospheric conditions. At the time, Australia was one of only a handful of countries to have successfully launched a satellite.

Learn more about WRESAT and Australian space-themed stamps.

The stamp

50th anniversary of WRESAT $1 stamp

Illustrator and designer Nigel Buchanan has used a “retro” style and colour scheme to set the scene. The design depicts the conically shaped satellite orbiting the Earth and the launch rocket, and is based on some original drawings and diagrams relating to the WRESAT launch.

Additional products

  • First day cover (blank, gummed)
  • Sheetlet of 10 (gummed)
  • Sheetlet pack
  • Booklet of 20 (self-adhesive)
  • Maxicard

Technical specifications

  • Issue date

    12 September 2017
  • FDI withdrawal date

    11 October 2017
  • Denominations

    1 x $1
  • Stamp design

    Nigel Buchanan
  • Product design

    Jo Mure
  • Printer

    EGO
  • Paper (gummed)

    Tullis Russell Red Phos
  • Paper (self-adhesive)

    Securepost MC90
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography
  • Stamp size

    26mm x 37.5mm
  • Perforations

    14.6 x 13.86
  • Sheet layout

    Sheetlet of 10
  • FDI postmark

    Woomera, SA 5720
  • Issue withdrawal date

    31 March 2018
*This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.