The Federal Government has today announced it will invest $65 million in the nation’s space industry to bolster sovereign manufacturing capabilities and eventually send an Australian to space.
Announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen hub, the funding will go toward new technologies and infrastructure, including $32.3 million for the development of up to three new or existing spaceports or launch sites across Australia.
The Australian Space Agency, based in South Australia, will also receive $32.5 million to procure and provide spaceflights and services for the Australian space sector.
Importantly, Morrison said this would help the local sector gain a ‘flight qualification’ - a common barrier to transitioning space technology from the laboratory to space.
“It’s about putting Australians into space, working with NASA and other international partners, to get an Australian back into space,” PM Morrison told the press after meeting with local South Australian space industry companies such as Myriota - whose investors include former PM Malcolm Turnbull - and Inovor Technologies.
“We are a launch nation with what we’re doing here to invest in these launch facilities. We are a space nation when it comes to ensuring that Australians will have their equipment, which is being developed right here in South Australia, up in space.
“Boosting sovereign manufacturing is part of our Government’s national economic plan.”
As part of the $32 million committed for spaceflights and services, $3.5 million will go toward a national student space challenge that would see student payloads sent into orbit.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the investment was a major boost for South Australia’s space sector.
“We are the home of the Space Discovery Centre, Mission Control, the Australian Space Agency, the Australian Space Park and more than 90 space-related companies are already based right here in SA,” Marshall said.
“This sector is going gangbusters and it’s going to mean our young South Australians can have a rewarding career in the space sector right here without having to move interstate or overseas.
“Not even the sky is the limit in opening up new opportunities for our children and our grandchildren.”
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the investment would provide Australian industry with further opportunities to grow and access global supply chains, as well as support more space launches taking off from home soil.
“This is about so much more than just the excitement or inspiration of launch,” Minister Price said.
“By investing in the growth of the Australian space sector we’re investing in the future of all Australians.”
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