Media Release: Advancing Australia in space, commonwealth government announcements on space launch and treaties
The Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) welcomes announcements made today by the Commonwealth Government which will accelerate the progress of Australia’s space industry.
Earlier today Australia’s Foreign, Trade, and Industry Ministers announced that Australia will begin negotiations on a bilateral agreement with the United States, the Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA), which will remove obstacles to cooperation on deep space technology between the United States and Australia. Currently, there are legal restrictions in the United States which prevent US rocket scientists from working on Australian space projects and limit the ability of Australian and US space technology being integrated. SIAA has advocated for the development of a bilateral treaty between the US and Australia to open the door to deeper collaboration between our space industries and space science communities.
CEO of SIAA, James Brown, said that “an agreement between America and Australia on technology safeguards will deepen trade and commercial activity across both the civilian and national security space sectors and create further opportunities for Australian space companies, space investment, and job growth.”
Today, US companies are regularly engaged in working with Australian space companies, and Australian technologies are assisting US companies in solving space-related issues. There are significant opportunities to deepen this cooperation which a TSA will galvanise. This includes supporting the development of launch activities in Australia which would provide new and resilient options in support of US and Australian national security, civil, and commercial space priorities.
The Australian Space Agency has also announced it will defer application costs for rocket launch activities in Australia for an additional twelve months. The SIAA has argued that the imposition of these considerable costs on an industry in early stages of development would slow momentum towards sovereign Australian space capability.
James Brown said that “today’s announcements will work towards the ambition of many in Australia to develop sovereign launch capability and will help catalyse Australia’s access to space.”
SIAA member companies Equatorial Launch Australia and Southern Launch are in advanced stages of developing space launch sites in Australia to service a growing Australian industry for space activities and services. SIAA member Gilmour Space Technologies this week closed a $61m funding round for its space vehicle technology and is seeking options to launch from Australian sites.
As space technologies become more critical to our economy there are global plans to increase the number of satellites in orbit from 3,500 today to more than 100,000 within five years. In the past 24 hours alone two SIAA members, Fleet Space and Spiral Blue, have launched Australian space technology into low earth orbit.
Chief Executive Officer
Space Industry Association of Australia
The Space Industry of Australia is the national peak body for the space industry in Australia, representing more than 600 members. Formed in 1992, SIAA hosted the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide which led to the establishment of the Australian Space Agency in 2018. SIAA and its member companies work closely with Australian governments, international partners, academia, and industry to advance Australia’s space industry and economy.
Philip Citowicki, Executive Officer
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