Australia Set To Create Its Own Space Agency

Posted: May 4 2018, 9:15am CDT | by , Updated: May 4 2018, 9:57am CDT , in Latest Science News

 

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Australia Set to Create Its Own Space Agency
UNSW-EC0, a satellite built at the University of New South Wales in Australia, had to hitch a ride to space on a U.S. rocket in 2017. UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

The federal government has put $50 million aside to launch the program

After months of talks, Australia is finally opening the nation’s first space agency. According to the ABC, a total of $50 million has been side aside for the establishment of Australian Space Agency. The formal announcement will be made by government next week.

Australia was an integral part of international space activities in the 1960s. In November 1967, Australia launched its first satellite and became only the third country to achieve the feat after US and Russia. But unlike other developed countries, which already have dedicated agencies to help coordinate space industry, Australia could not get its own agency and fall far behind. The formation of space agency will be an important step forward in regaining its place in space exploration and will provide nation an opportunity to cash in on the lucrative and fast-evolving space industry.

“Space is a global sector worth some $420bn and grows faster than China’s economy – it’s something we want to be a part of,” said Prof Alan Duffy, an astrophysicist at Swinburne University. “The aim is to develop commercial opportunities so Australian start-ups and companies gain access to this very valuable sector.”

Australia repeatedly declined offers to become part of European Space Agency in the past. In September last year, the country announced its intention to create its own space agency. And now, for the first time, $50 million has been allocated in the Federal budget for this purpose.

"A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry." Acting science minister Michaelia Cash said in an earlier statement.

The space agency will boost the country's economy and create highly skilled jobs for the young population. Currently, Australia holds about 0.8 percent of the global space market.

"It's pretty incredible that we've managed to get 0.8 percent without a national space agency,” said Anna Moore from Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory. "Our goal is to get to 1.8 percent, which would be equivalent to our share in GDP terms.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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