Using regular industrial-rated parts is standard for CubeSats in LEO, where radiation is far less of a problem than many people seem to think. The orbit is only about 350km altitude, well below the Van Allen belts, and with a mission duration of about 6 months it's not worth using parts that are vastly more expensive. For the small variation in failure probability, it makes far more sense to put up multiple ArduSats using regular parts than to put up a single ArduSat with rad-hardened parts for the same price. The plan is that nanosatisfi will launch up to 150 ArduSats over the next 5 years, and there are bound to be failures along the way but overall the cost:failure ratio works out much better with regular industrial parts. Common consumer-grade electronics such as cameras and laptop computers has been in use on the ISS for many years. Thermal management and power management are much bigger challenges for CubeSats than the relatively minor radiation they encounter.
Dante_J writes "Reported In a recent news article, of the 22 Google Lunar X-Prize teams, 'White Label Space' are the only one with notable Australian contributions, and is dedicated to becoming a major player in the rapidly expanding sector of private space exploration. Mr Barton said he picked up Lunar Numbat because he was keen to "harness the latent enthusiasm and frustration of Australian people"."
Not true. By "space agency" we're not talking about financing a mission to Mars, we're just talking about a central body to act as a contact / coordination point for the various initiatives already being undertaken independently by commercial, hobbyist, and educational research groups. Ideally it would be far more than that, of course, but right now Australia doesn't have *anything* in terms of a central reference body for space science. Even if it simply meant having a small federal office somewhere with some permanent staff to provide liaison services between Australian space initiatives and overseas space agencies that would be a huge step forward from where we are now - which is nowhere.
Dante_J writes "In the Australian Federal budget presented last night, as well as big national infrastructure spending, an amount of $48.6 million over four years was allocated for an "Australian Space Science Program". Normally a Space Program is managed by a Space Agency. Does this now mean that Australian will follow the recommendations of the Senate Space Science report and give up it's rather inadequate title of the only top 20 GDP nation not to have one? With nations like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Bulgaria forming or maintaining Space Agencies, this government infrastructure is obviously not limited to G-20 nations. Discussions to combine Australian and New Zealand airspace have been undertaken, should that translate to aerospace too, and both nations form an ANZAC Space Agency together?"