Australia can look forward to a new Space Industry Program, comprising research hubs and local space industry development, if Bill Shorten wins the next federal election. Labor is promising an investment of up to AU$35 million that will also require co-investment from the likes of industry and universities to get the program off the ground. Within five years of its creation, Labor predicts an Australian space agency would be worth AU$3-4 billion annually in revenues, and create around 10,000 new jobs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, research, earth observation, and space technologies. The Australian Space Industry Program is slated to comprise four Australian Research Council (ARC) Space Industry research hubs, which Labor expects will "advance capabilities in emerging areas of industry-focused space research and technology". There would also be two ARC Space Industry training centres that would work directly with industry in offering 25 industrial PhDs.
Ahead of the 2018 federal Budget being delivered next Tuesday, the ABC has reported that the Australian government will be pumping AU$50 million into the creation of a space agency. It is believed the "seed funding" will be used to finally establish a dedicated Australian space agency to coordinate existing efforts in the aeronautical industry, with the aim of generating thousands of future jobs. While the ABC said the government is yet to decide where the new space agency will be hosted, the reported flagged Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory as all having expressed interest in claiming the headquarters. The Australian government had revealed in September that it would be establishing a national space agency once its review into the space industry was complete. It then announced signing a Space Tracking Treaty with NASA in October, with Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Michaelia Cash saying the treaty "remains the foundation for a continued cooperative program between Australia and the United States".
The Australian government will be establishing a national space agency once its review into the space industry is complete, it said on Monday. "A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry," Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Michaelia Cash said in a statement. "The agency will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our international engagement." In July, the Australian government launched a review into the nation's space industry with the goal of developing a 10-year plan to grow the sector and boost its global competitiveness. An expert reference group -- chaired by former CSIRO CEO Dr Megan Clark -- was selected by the government to perform the review, which builds on the principles set out in Australia's Satellite Utilisation Policy (2013) and the findings from the recently completed review of the Space Activities Act 1998.
While there's plenty of talk and excitement over Australia's forthcoming space agency, there are still plenty of unanswered questions over the details. SEE ALSO: Elon Musk will give a big SpaceX talk about Mars this week. Fortunately, someone out there has come up with the best possible name for the agency, which we sorely, hopefully, wish was true: A.R.S.E., or Australian Research and Space Exploration. A.R.S.E. has been making some waves on the internet recently, with its own Facebook and Instagram pages, but again, it's merely an amusing riff on the upcoming space agency and not what it'll be actually called. "Australian Research & Space Exploration is an independent campaign designed to promote the space program and all related efforts in Australia.
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.