The Australian government has announced that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the University of New South Wales Canberra (UNSW Canberra) have signed a collaborative project agreement to launch a three-year space R&D program. The AU$9.7 million program will be conducted at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). Announcing the program at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide on Thursday, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the investment is aimed at supporting the growth of Australian technologies, as well as investigating ways to enhance defence's space capability. Under the program, three miniature satellites will be launched, with opportunities to demonstrate innovative communications and remote-sensing payloads. Spaceflight modelling techniques will also be tested as part of the program.
Australia wants a slice of the booming private space industry, and it's launching an agency to capitalise on it. The Australian Government announced on Monday at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide that it would commit to launching a space agency, following a review of the country's space capability and years of calls to establish one. "The case for establishing an Australian space agency is compelling. And so, I am pleased today to announce that the Australian Government will be establishing a national space agency," South Australian senator Simon Birmingham said. Today I'm pleased to announce on behalf of the Turnbull Government that Australia will have a space agency #IAC2017 pic.twitter.com/2pd9HoVi8f
We're hurtling towards a future where everything from cows to toasters will be internet-connected. But do we have the infrastructure to support this digital web? An Australian startup wants its nano satellites to help form the backbone of the internet of things. Founded in 2015, Adelaide-based Fleet announced a A$5 million ($3.8 million) Series A funding round Tuesday, to help build its satellite constellation. SEE ALSO: These American tech companies are heading south to list.
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.