The “Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub” will be based at two separate locations, create 500 jobs and have the aim of making the country’s space industry more self-sufficient.
The news was announced on Tuesday by the federal government, which said it would invest $23.6 million in the project, alongside $22.86 million from the state government.
It comes after the government announced its plans to build and operate four of its own EO satellites in March, and this new hub will now make that possible.
The project will be jointly led by EOS Space Systems, a Canberra-based company that provides space debris and satellite management solutions, and Nova Systems, a NSW-based space communication company. Both EOS and Nova will also partner with rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies on the facility.
In a statement released on Tuesday, EOS said the hub will be built at two locations, including the Poplars business park in the South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct outside of Canberra, and at the UTS Tech Lab in Sydney.
“This new collaborative manufacturing capability fills recognised gaps in Australia’s current space manufacturing landscape by enabling the local development of large, high-quality, reliable spacecraft and optical payloads that are capable of fulfilling complex missions which deliver national economic benefit,” said EOS’ CEO Glen Tindall.
The manufacturing hub will also support the development of nano and small satellites, propellants and fuels, payloads, sensors, solar panels, structural components, optics, new space-related technologies and materials, optical wireless communication technologies and key ground segment subsystems, according to EOS.
In a recent Space Connect podcast episode, Glen Tindall told Space Connect while there is a movement towards using smaller satellites, large satellites are still important.
He said these provide economic value for Australia and are crucial for many scientific research missions, human spaceflight ambitions and defence applications.
Increasing Australia’s space manufacturing capabilities is a major priority for the nation as it steps into the international space race and bets on driving in overseas investment.
“Every day, when Australians use navigation systems in their cars or smartphones – or farmers want to monitor crops, or emergency workers respond to bushfires – they are using space technologies such as satellites,” Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said.
Minister Taylor added that this hub will help grow the local supply chain, enabling the development of large satellites to be “right here at home”.
This new hub is also set to create 500 indirect and direct jobs over five years, which is a key priority for Australia to become a sovereign spacefaring nation.
While most of the funding is driven by the state and federal government, $25 million is set to be invested by the space industry.
Similar to the Australian Space Park set to be built in Adelaide for the manufacturing of smaller satellites, this new hub will fast-track the local development of larger ones.
Bella Richards is a journalist who has written for several local newspapers, her university newspaper and a tech magazine, and completed her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney in 2020. She joined Momentum Media in 2021, and has since written breaking news stories across Space Connect, Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.
You can email Bella on: [email protected]
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