On the 1st of July 2018, the Australian government will have a new baby: an Australian Space Agency.
It might start out with a budget that falls short of that of ESA, NASA, the Asian JAXA, CNSA and Russia’s Roscosmos, but with a country that is almost ideally located to launch space vehicles (close to the equator and with the Pacific Ocean downrange), and an international commercial space market experiencing exponential growth, the Agency is destined to grow into its own as a partner and enabler.
The announcement was made on the website of the Australian Department of industry:
On 8 May 2018, as part of the 2018-19 Budget, the Australian Government announced the establishment of an Australian Space Agency with ongoing funding starting at $26 million over the next four years. The Agency will also be able to draw on a pool of $15 million, from 2019-20, to invest in specific international space projects which are considered to be beneficial to Australia.
On 14 May 2018, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash released the Report on the Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability and announced the Australian Government Response to the Review’s Report. Minister Cash also announced the appointment of Dr Megan Clark AC as the interim Head of the Australian Space Agency.
- View the media release
- View the response Australian Government response (PDF 339KB) |(DOCX 1.9MB)
- View the Expert Reference Panel Report Review of Australia’s space Industry Capability (PDF 3.1MB) | (DOCX 8.5MB)
The Australian Space Agency will commence operations on 1 July 2018.
The Agency will have four core responsibilities:
- support the development of Australia’s space industry so that it can compete effectively in the global space sector
- coordinate domestic activities in Australia’s space sector
- engage closely with key stakeholders, including state and territory governments, to identify opportunities to harness industry advantages and create a globally competitive space industry in Australia
- facilitate international space engagement, both in policy and industry forums, to build the networks needed to develop Australia’s space capability and ensure our industry players can access global supply chains.
The Agency will also administer legislative arrangements for Australian civil space activities, ensuring that these activities are in Australia’s national interests and align to our international obligations in space.
Review of Australia’s space industry capability
A review of Australia’s space industry capability was completed in early 2018 with the review handing down its report to Government on 29 March 2018.