Academy launches vision for space and technology in Australia

Academy launches vision for space and technology in Australia”

Earlier this week, the government announced that Australia would be getting its own space agency.

The conclusion forms part of the Australian Academy of Science's Vision for space and technology in Australia, launched today at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC2017) in Adelaide. They point out that Australia is one of just two countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that doesn't have a space program.

Michaelia Cash, acting minister for industry, innovation and science, said the new agency will be "the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our worldwide engagement" in space technology.

But successive governments have baulked at establishing a space agency because of cost.

The Australian government says it has appointed a group of experts to review the options for the country's space industry and write a charter. The group, which is chaired by Dr Megan Clark, former head of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has received almost 200 written submissions and held meetings across the country.

"It's a small agency to coordinate and lead", Turnbull told reporters.

More than 400 people have been consulted through round-table events in every state and territory, and views have also been taken from regional governments and other key stakeholders.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the agency would be part of Australia's development of an innovation and science economy. He adds that Australia now holds just 0.8 percent of the global space industry, which is generally valued at more than $320 billion annually.

The mission statement included examples of worldwide projects which Australia could be involved in if the framework existed, notable the China-based global Space Weather Meridian Circle Program which is proposing to build weather measurement instruments along meridian lines.

"This agreement on the eve of the announcement of the Australian Space Program represents a multi-year effort by both Opaque Space and Boeing Australia to further our place as a nation to contribute to the global human spaceflight mission".

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