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Coin celebrates Australian space industry

The Royal Australian Mint has unveiled a collectable $1 coin that celebrates Australia’s role in the space industry.

Created with help from the Australian Space Agency (ASA), the design depicts WRESAT-1’s launch in 1967, astronauts in space, as well as Australia’s part in the Apollo 11 moon landings.

It also refers to the rover being created by Australia to support NASA’s plan to one day establish a base on the lunar surface.

The uncirculated coin is a collectable, but not limited edition, and is the first commemorative to feature an effigy of King Charles III.


Its “tails” side features the words “rovers, technology, rockets, astronauts, satellites, communications, GPS, astronomy, exploration, and discovery”.

It comes after Space Connect reported last month how one of the two consortiums bidding to create Australia’s lunar rover unveiled an early prototype.

ELO2’s design shows off the “scoop” that will be used to collect lunar soil that will eventually be turned into oxygen to support NASA astronauts.

The group is competing against rival AROSE to provide the device to NASA to support its Moon to Mars mission.


It comes after the ASA granted both consortiums $4 million earlier this year to create a prototype.

Enrico Palermo, head of the ASA, said, “This mission is as much about the journey as the destination.

“Our nation is gaining significant expertise and new technical skills from developing this rover for the harsh environment of space – that we can bring back to improve industries here on Earth.

“Investing in missions like this lifts our whole nation – it makes our economy stronger and industries more advanced, it lifts our standing on the global stage, it keeps our brightest talent here. You cannot underestimate the value of what’s happening before we even get to the moon.”

While the winning design has yet to be chosen, the ASA has revealed the successful creation would be called Roo-ver after the name triumphed in a poll of 20,000 people.

Roo-ver secured 36 per cent of the vote, beating off competition from three other shortlisted names: Coolamon, Kakirra, and Mateship.

It follows the ASA urging schoolchildren to put forward suggestions.

The winning entry was submitted by Siwa from NSW, who said, “Our lunar rover deserves to be named after something iconically Australian, reflecting the Aussie spirit as we launch into this new endeavour.

“A kangaroo is part of the Australian coat of arms, and it’s time for Australian science to take the next leap all the way up into space.”

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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