• The Moon to Mars initiative is Australia’s contribution to the Artemis program.
    The Moon to Mars initiative is Australia’s contribution to the Artemis program. Pixabay

The second program in the government’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative is now open.

The Australian Moon to Mars initiative forms an important element of Australia’s space strategy and supports Australian organisations to join NASA’s inspirational endeavour to go forward to the Moon and on to Mars.

NASA’s Artemis program aims to see ‘the first woman and the next man’ back on the Moon by 2024 with joint commercial missions in place by 2028. The program will use a powerful new rocket and spacecraft to take astronauts on a five-day commute to the ‘Gateway’, a spaceship the size of a studio apartment orbiting the Moon. Astronauts will use the Gateway as a base for manned and unmanned lunar exploration, but will not live there year-round (unlike the International Space Station).

These grants support Australian businesses and researchers by assisting industry and research institutions to conduct feasibility activities for space projects. The aim is to develop a local space economy that the government hopes will be worth $12 billion by 2030.

The $3.7 million Demonstrator Feasibility grants provide opportunities for businesses and researchers to scope out projects which have the potential to operate or support operations in space. This includes activities related to NASA’s Moon to Mars space exploration endeavours.

The aim of the Demonstrator program is to support a range of commercially focused demonstrator and pilot projects that showcase investment-ready Australian capabilities to the world.

The Demonstrator Feasibility grants are the first element of the Demonstrator program.

More information is available through the business.gov.au website.

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