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Investing in Australia’s satellite capabilities

Investing in Australia’s satellite capabilities

Reporter

The Australian Space Agency has signed a statement of strategic intent with Sitael Australia, a designer and manufacturer of satellites.

The agency supports the long-term development and application of space technologies, growing Australia's domestic space industry and securing our place in the global space economy.

Sitael Australia is a subsidiary of Sitael S.p.A, the largest privately-owned space company in Italy.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the signing, which occurred during the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany yesterday, saying, "This signing will further drive Australia’s position in the global space race and assist in growing our share of the world’s space economy, estimated to be worth around US$345 billion."

The statement of strategic intent is confirmation of Sitael’s support of Australia’s capability for developing small satellites, investment in operations, ground stations and R&D, Minister Andrews explained. 

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, said Sitael was committed to the Australian space industry and the broader use of space across a wide range of sectors of the economy.

"This initiative aims to solve communications challenges that will provide enhanced connectivity, navigation improvements and monitoring of our country and its resources," Dr Clark said.

The Commonwealth government has committed $41 million to establish the Australian Space Agency and is investing more than $260 million to grow Australia’s space satellite infrastructure.

This is part of the government's investment of around $2.4 billion to grow our space sector, and research, science and technology capabilities. 

Sitael Australia opened a new branch in Adelaide in June 2018, becoming one of the leading local companies in the design and manufacture of satellites of up to 300 kilograms. 

Sitael signed a letter of intent with SA company Inovor Technologies at last year’s International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, for the purposes of developing joint technological and commercial activities.

The global space industry is now worth $420 billion per annum and growing by 10 per cent each year, and is forecast to be worth more than US$1 trillion by 2040. Currently, Australia's space industry is estimated to be worth $3.94 billion a year.

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