UNDER a new Memorandum of Understanding, the ACT and South Australian governments are working together to develop the space industry in Australia.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says South Australia brings a launch facility and its manufacturing history, while Canberra has significant strengths in its research community and the headquarters of a significant number of the big players in the space industry.
“Both SA Premier Jay Weatherill and I have previously written to the Prime Minister asking the Commonwealth to take a lead in the development of this important sector,” Mr Barr says.
“The recent decision by the Commonwealth to establish an Expert Reference Group to review Australia’s space capabilities is a small step in the right direction, which we hope leads to the establishment of a national coordinating body for the space industry.”
Canberra has long been a vital part of the global space industry, transmitting signals and images from the first moon landing and from Mars, exporting world-leading telescope technology and hosting NASA’s deep space communication facilities.
“Recently UNSW Canberra was awarded delivery of the Buccaneer space program in conjunction with the Defence Science and Technology Group – a significant outcome for our growing space industry,” Mr Barr says.
“In fact the Defence White Paper’s commitment to strengthening Australian Defence Force capability in all aspects of space, including secure satellite communications, earth observation, space situation awareness and global navigation satellite systems is the catalyst for this MOU.
“As the first action under this MOU I am looking forward to attending the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September and showcasing a number of Canberra’s key industry players including ANU, UNSW Canberra, EOS Space Systems, Geospatial Intelligence and Northrop Grumman.”