Prime Minister’s US trip heralds major deal for Australian Space Agency

Stephen Kuper

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews have confirmed an investment deal into Australian businesses and new technologies that will support NASA on its inspirational campaign to return to the moon and travel to Mars.

The Morrison government is positioning Australia for lift-off with a $150 million investment into Australian businesses and technologies – the five-year investment will see the Australian Space Agency foster the new ideas and hi-tech skilled jobs that will make Australian businesses a partner of choice to fit out NASA missions.

The government’s support means Australian businesses and researchers will have the opportunity to showcase their immense knowledge and capabilities in projects that can support NASA’s Moon to Mars mission, such as Project Artemis and the Lunar Gateway.

It will also support Australian businesses to become more competitive in international space supply chains and to increase Australia’s share in a growing US$350 billion global space market.

The Australian Space Agency will work closely with NASA to identify how they can best support their missions after the signing of a joint Statement of Intent on expanding cooperation.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the investment would benefit all Australians with more jobs, new technologies and more investment in businesses that would grow the economy.

“We’re backing Australian businesses to the moon, and even Mars, and back. We’re getting behind Australian businesses so they can take advantage of the pipeline of work NASA has committed to,” Mr Morrison said. 

 

The Prime Minister added, “There is enormous opportunity for Australia’s space sector, which is why we want to triple its size to $12 billion to create around 20,000 extra jobs by 2030. We’ve partnered with the US in almost all of their missions to space for the last 60 years, and this investment paves the way for the next 60. The growing amount of space sector work and innovation will also inspire the next generation to see the future of a career in these fields for the long term.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this was a milestone moment for the booming Australian space industry, but it would also benefit everyday Australians.

“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. Space also drives technology, which has a profound and everyday impact on the lives of Australians – from disaster management, to helping farmers better manage their land and predict drought, through to improving GPS,” Minister Andrews explained. 

“That’s why as a government, we established the Australian Space Agency just over 12 months ago and are investing strongly.”

The government also welcomed greater cooperation with the US on a number of other cutting-edge science and technology issues – including holding a joint senior level dialogue to further collaboration on frontier technologies central to the national interest and security.

Enhanced cooperation on hydrogen safety, lithium-ion battery recycling and collaborative science was also announced.

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