The shared space, called the common user facility (CUF), will be available to businesses from the entire Australian space industry.
The purpose of the CUF is to reduce the expensive barriers to entry into the space industry by providing a space that possesses the necessary tools for manufacturing, assembly, integration and test activities.
A total of $20 million has already been pledged by the Australian federal government in support of the CUF, which comes on top of the $20 million invested by the South Australian government for the construction of the Space Park as a whole.
Industry investment in the Space Park has also been high, with over $20 million invested into the Space Park by private enterprises. In total, over $66 million has been pledged to the Australian Space Park project.
So far, four Australian space companies have signed on to the Space Park as foundational tenants, with Fleet Space, ATSpace, Alauda Aeronautics and Q-CTRL all securing their places within the Space Park.
The Australian Space Park is looking for either a single prime contractor or a consortium to assume responsibility for running and managing the CUF. The responsibilities of such a role include promoting the hub, providing maintenance to the sensitive manufacturing equipment involved in the CUF and granting access to the hub.
It is hoped that the CUF will accelerate the development of sovereign capabilities in Australia’s space sector and allow the construction of satellites, rockets, and other spacecraft and payloads right here on home soil.
A key aspect of the idea behind the CUF is the desire to bring together small local space start-ups with the already established businesses in the Australian space sector. This will balance the drive for innovation and big ideas with the need for capable and established manufacturing facilities.
Susan Close, Deputy Premier of South Australia and Defence and Space Industries Minister, spoke about the ambitious goals of the CUF project.
“The CFU [CUF] will provide vital infrastructure to position Australia’s space community to deliver the entire space value chain through the design, manufacture and launch of new space capabilities to orbit and beyond,” she said.
Nick Champion, the South Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, also commented on the project.
“The Australian Space Park’s common user facility presents an opportunity for industry to partner with the South Australian government on an exciting project that is set to shape the future of Australia’s space industry,” he said.
“It aligns with Australia’s space strategy that aims to triple the space sector’s contribution to GDP to over $12 billion per annum, creating an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030.”
Liam McAneny is a journalist who has written and edited for his University International Relations journal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong in 2021. He joined Momentum Media in 2022 and currently writes for SpaceConnect and Australian Aviation. Liam has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations as well as astronomy.
Send Liam an email at: [email protected]
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