The Australian Government announced a commitment towards a national space agency at the International Astronomical Congress in Adelaide, South Australia on Monday.
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The move has come after mounting pressure from experts. Growing increasingly concerned that Australia was missing the boat taking a share in the AU$420 billion (US$330 billion) global industry.
“The global space industry is growing rapidly and it’s crucial that Australia is part of this growth,” said acting Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science Michaelia Cash.
A national space agency has a strategic long-term plan. That supports the development of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry.
Australia’s space industry is worth about AU$4 billion
Among 35 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations Australia is one of just two to not yet have a space agency now leaving only Iceland. Moreover, plenty of non-OECD countries, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, have their own space agencies.
In March this year, the Space Industry Association of Australia, an organization that promotes the space sector in Australia. Released a white paper detailing the case for a local space agency. Focused largely on the jobs and wealth creating in the commercial sector. As well as the benefits to the government sector. Moreover, currently, even without a space program of its own Australia’s space industry is worth about AU$4 billion, and employs 11,500 people.
Further, this would be applications such as satellite communications, satellite television, satellite navigation and satellite imagery. As well as satellite weather monitoring and military satellites.
In addition, Australia buys most of its satellite data from other countries. We do have some satellites of our own, but are dependent on other countries to launch them.
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Finally, the Federal Government’s full plans revealed at the International Astronomical Congress.