Australia To Join The Space Race As Industry Blasts Off


Acting Science Minister Michaelia Cash said it was "crucial" Australia was part of the rapidly growing industry.

The Northern Territory will join the ACT and South Australia in lobbying for a national space agency.

"The agency will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our global engagement".

Nearly 200 written submissions on the new agency have been received by a reference group, while more than 400 people have been consulted across Australia.

Former CSIRO Chief Dr Megan Clark is chairing the Reference Group, and its review is well advanced.

"We are dependent on other countries who can choose their own national interest over and above ours", he said.

Most developed nations already have space agencies.

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Senator Carr pointed to the everyday applications of space technologies, including supermarkets using satellite navigation to guide their fleet, ATMs, mobile phones and adapting to climate change. "And that's the key point of both the government's and Labor's plans, it is a jobs industry-first agency", he told ABC News Breakfast.

The federal government has announced the creation of a national space agency, tipped to create thousands of jobs in a rapidly-growing sector.


States and territories have been jockeying for the establishment of a dedicated space agency over the past few months. The program is proposing to establish space-based weather measurement instruments along the 120E/60W meridian, which passes through Australia and Antarctica, in order to provide a global picture of unfolding space weather events.

Speaking at the space congress in Adelaide on Monday morning, Senator Birmingham said the state will play a "central" role in the national space agency.

"But I can share a little bit about what we have been hearing from the industry".

The long-anticipated announcement comes as the week-long International Astronautical Congress kicks off in Adelaide.

The South Australian government previously labelled the country's lack of a space agency, while hosting such a prominent conference, as "embarrassing".