The Australian Space Agency and NASA have launched a new partnership on future space cooperation. This includes the opportunity for Australia to join the US’ Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA’s Artemis lunar program.
The government is investing $150 million over five years for Australian businesses and researchers to join NASA’s endeavour, and deliver key capabilities for the mission.
“We’re backing Australian businesses to the moon, and even Mars, and back,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “We’re getting behind Australian businesses so they can take advantage of the pipeline of work NASA has committed to."
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said this was a milestone moment for the booming Australian space industry.
“This agreement is all about opportunity, for us to take the Australian space sector to the next level, grow our economy and create new local jobs,” Minister Andrews said.
This investment will focus on three integrated elements that will lift Australian engagement in the global space sector:
- demonstrator and pilot projects which showcase investment-ready Australian capabilities to NASA and the U.S.’s international space supply chains (e.g. in the areas of robotics, automation, Artificial Intelligence, and earth observation)
- working with NASA to identify how Australia can support a significant part of NASA’s ‘return to the Moon and on to Mars’ program, leveraging Australia’s key strengths (e.g. drawing on the demonstrator and pilot projects)
- supporting access to international space supply chains that support NASA, including capability building to help the Australian space sector meet the stringent requirements of supplying products and services in the global space industry
Dr Megan Clark, Head of the Australian Space Agency said this announcement marks an important step for Australia and our growing space industry.
“The investment will allow our businesses and researchers to contribute Australia’s best ideas and technology to support NASA’s plan to return to the Moon and on to Mars," Dr Clarke said.
More on this story will be available in Thursday's Defence Week.