Australia will establish a national space agency to grow its space industry, the government has said. The nation is one of the only developed countries in the world not to have a space agency. Acting Industry Minister Michaelia Cash said it was "crucial" that Australia capitalised on the rapid growth of the global space industry. It follows a domestic industry review which had called for a dedicated body to be established. "The agency will be the anchor for our domestic co-ordination and the front door for our international engagement," Ms Cash said.
Australia is very much a participant in the space industry with about 11,500 people working in the field. However, it has never had its own space agency -- and that may put it at a disadvantage next to the US, Canada and other countries that have concerted space strategies. The government hopes to fix that. It just unveiled plans to create Australia's first national space agency. Michaelia Cash argues that it's necessary to keep pace with a space industry that's "growing rapidly."
LONDON – The U.K. Space Agency said Sunday that it had chosen a peninsula on Scotland's north coast as the site of the country's first space port. "Scotland is the best place in the U.K. to reach in-demand satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets," the agency said in a statement. According to the head of the agency, Graham Turnock, the new space port will "help kick-start an exciting new era for the U.K. space industry." The choice of Sutherland for the new space port confirms Scotland's ambitions in the sector. According to industry experts, Glasgow is the city, outside of the United States, which produces the most satellites, specializing in small devices which can be used for weather forecasts, like GPS systems.
The federal government has officially launched its space agency and announced an initial AU$15 million in funding to "kick-start" its investment into international missions and space-related projects. After committing AU$41 million in the 2018-19 Budget last week, it was confirmed on Monday the Australian Space Agency will begin operation from July 1, 2018, despite being without a place to call home. The agency will be led by former head of the CSIRO Dr Megan Clark for its establishment and first year of operation. The federal government expects the agency will support the long-term development and application of space technologies, grow Australia's domestic space industry, and secure the country's place in the global space economy. "Its primary goal is going to be to grow the Australian space industry and to do that we need to partner internationally, coordinate nationally, and to ask ourselves why we are doing that?
The Australian Space Agency has signed a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation with Lockheed Martin Australia. Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews expects the arrangement with the local arm of the defence and aerospace giant will provide assistance in building Australia's space capabilities, particularly where education is concerned. "This statement acknowledges Lockheed Martin Australia's role in supporting the growth of the space sector with its provision of civilian products and services in areas such as data analytics, quantum computing, research and development, and STEM programs," Andrews said Monday, calling Lockheed Martin an ideal partner. "The Australian Space Agency is building on this strong relationship to provide more opportunities for technology transfer and the creation of local skilled jobs in the sector." It is the agency's fourth statement of strategic intent with an industry partner, following similar arrangements made with Airbus, Nova Systems, and Siatel.