Becoming involved in international missions as they arise builds Australia’s global reputation in space and grows the Australian space sector’s capability. It also benefits other areas of the economy and Australians through new space‑enabled technologies. It paves the way for international involvement of Australian industry and researchers, including space manufacturers, in future missions.
The Australian Space Agency has entered into a number of arrangements with international space agencies, such as Memoranda of Understanding or Statements of Intent, including with:
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- the European Space Agency
- United States
- New Zealand
Australia is one of the 7 founding international partners who have signed the Artemis Accords. This is a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s 21st century lunar exploration plans. Recently, Australia worked with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to support the Hayabusa2 Sample Return Mission from the asteroid Ryugu, which landed in Woomera, South Australia. JAXA and NASA recognised ‘Team Australia’ for their exemplary support of this mission, opening up opportunities for Australia to be involved in future missions.
The Moon to Mars Initiative is a partnership between the Australian Space Agency and NASA. It is a $150 million Government investment in the Australian space industry, to accelerate the growth of Australian business and support Australian’s ambitions to join NASA’s Moon to Mars endeavours. The initiative will showcase to the world Australia’s best ideas and technologies that can support space missions to the Moon and on to Mars. In turn, this unlocks opportunities for Australian businesses to enter national and international supply chains. It supports transforming and diversifying industries on Earth and across the economy into opportunities in the growing space industry.
Drawing on the experiences of similar nations that have been building manufacturing capability will allow the Australian space sector to design strategic approaches to space manufacturing. For example, the UK has experienced 43% growth in space manufacturing since the UK Space Agency was founded in 2010. Its space strategy focused on downstream applications to promote growth across the sector, which led to similar growth across all segments in the value chain.
The Australian Government will implement a collaborative integrated approach to our local space manufacturing sector. It is imperative that industry, our scientific and research community, employees and unions, governments at all levels, venture capitalists and financiers all work together. Only then can Australia realise the opportunities that space manufacturing offers in supporting new businesses and jobs. This road map is intended to facilitate that collaboration and to launch the space manufacturing sector on the trajectory for success.
To support the sector as it grows, the Government will provide experts from across departments and agencies to support the space industry and to help build its capabilities to access the global space market. These include:
- Bureau of Meteorology
- Department of Defence
- Geoscience Australia
- Australian Space Agency
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- AusIndustry in the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
Realising the benefits of innovation, harnessing our world‑class research capabilities, and translating great ideas into commercial outcomes will require greater levels of collaboration. Government, businesses, venture capitalists, industry experts and researchers will all need to work together. Businesses are more likely to grow and attract investment when they are supported by a thriving business environment, and investment will focus on projects that:
- create collaborative environments
- encourage the market to invest
- facilitate collaboration between business, research organisations and state and territory governments.
The aim of this road map is to ensure manufacturing works for industry by fostering the environment needed to improve collaboration and to support the sector to make more space products and components in Australia.
Through strong collaboration across industries and between government and the private sector, we will provide the pathway forward. The space manufacturing sector will need to leverage economies of scale, share knowledge and drive innovation. By working together, we will grow a globally recognised Australian space industry with the capability, capacity and expertise to locally manufacture specialised products and equipment. These will be fit for exporting to international markets, and for supporting national and international space missions.