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30 August 2019

From 31 August, the Australian space industry will have an improved, streamlined process for launching to space and returning to Earth.

The global space sector is being transformed, opening up opportunities for companies small, medium and large.

To keep pace with these changes, the Australian Government has reviewed the regulatory framework to ensure it remains appropriate for the Australian context.

The updated framework provides greater clarity and flexibility for the Australian space industry and ensures there is appropriate consideration of:

  • the removal of barriers to participation, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship
  • the safety of space activities and the risk of damage to persons or property as a result of these activities
  • the implementation of certain obligations under the UN Space Treaties

The updated Act also broadens the regulatory framework to include launches from aircraft in flight and high power rockets. It streamlines the approvals processes and adjusts the insurance requirements appropriate to risk levels for launches and returns.

To enable a transition period for the industry, updated rules for high power rockets are due to commence on 30 June 2020. Provisions for fees under the Act are still under consideration, and no fees are currently applicable.

Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency said the updated framework is a vital step in the Australian Space Agency’s goal to transform and grow the Australian space industry.

“The way we interact with space is changing, and there has been a rapid transformation of the sector in recent years,” Dr Clark said.

“By updating the regulatory framework, we are improving Australians’ access to space, while continuing to uphold our strong values to ensure safety of activities on Earth and in space. These reforms ensure that Australia's space regulation accommodates technological advancements and does not unnecessarily inhibit innovation in Australia’s space capabilities.”

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