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Space Agency launches public consultation for moon-to-Mars initiative

Max Blenkin

The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has launched public consultations on the design of its proposed moon-to-Mars initiative.

Space Agency launches public consultation for moon-to-Mars initiative
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That’s a $150 million investment over five years to showcase Australia’s best ideas and technologies to support space missions to the moon and on to Mars.

It’s also aimed at fuelling growth of Australian businesses so they can thrive in international space supply chains in support of moon-to-Mars activities.

And it sets out to create jobs and support the transformation of industries across Australia.

ASA head Dr Megan Clark said the moon-to-Mars initiative will fast-track the growth of Australia’s space industry through a range of grant opportunities.

“By supporting the growth and transformation of industries across the economy, the investment will create jobs in Australia, boost emerging and existing industry capabilities, and inspire the next generation,” she said.

“Australia has a range of capabilities that can support international space activities. The investment will provide a path for Australian businesses to secure a bigger share of the global space market and show the world we are ready for investment.

Dr Clark said these investments were being made in Australia and would benefit other areas of the economy.

For example, new space technologies like advanced communications will have the ability to improve communications here on Earth, and new robotic and automation techniques can be used in areas beyond the space sector, she said.

“We are committed to accelerating the growth of Australia’s space sector, supporting our target to triple the size of the space economy to $12 billion and creating another 20,000 jobs by 2030.”

The consultation process starts next week with the launch of a discussion paper on Monday. Submissions open on 10 February and close on 6 March.

Consultation sessions will be held in capital cities, starting in Hobart on 14 February and winding up in Darwin on 2 March.

The agency is seeking consideration of the proposed objectives, delivery framework and potential areas of investment that will develop Australia’s industry and also inspire the public.

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