The Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) will allow US companies to carry out space launch activities in Australia and protect US technology, including rockets and satellites.
The agreement signing occurred as part of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the United States.
In a joint leader’s statement, Prime Minister Albanese and US President Joe Biden said:
'Our focus on innovation also extends to space … signing of a space Technology Safeguards Agreement will create the potential for new space-related commercial opportunities.’
The TSA will help Australia’s domestic launch sector and spaceports to grow. Australia is expecting US space launches on Australian soil to create new high-skilled tech jobs and supply chains.
The US demand for launch will increase investment in launch infrastructure and scale the Australian launch sector. It will expand the market open to Australian companies and uplift the entire local space sector.
Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo said this is an important milestone.
'TSA with the US will generate new opportunities and investment for our launch sector and is a signal of the ongoing momentum within the Australian space ecosystem,’ Mr Palermo said.
'The TSA increases Australia’s attractiveness as a place to launch from in addition to our geography, ability to access different orbits, wide open ranges, focus on responsible operations and trusted alliances to protect sensitive technologies.’
Increased launch activity in Australia is also likely to reduce the cost of access to space through commercial efficiencies and experience. This will make Australia more attractive as a global launch hub and lead to more international and domestic launches in Australia.
Industries such as construction, transport, hospitality, security, maintenance, operations and logistics will benefit as Australia’s launch sector scales. Particularly in rural and remote areas where most launch activities will occur.
The TSA puts the US on equal footing with other international partners launching and returning space technology in Australia. It does not restrict Australian companies from making home-grown launch and satellite technology and competing in a growing global market.
Australia and the US have worked closely together to negotiate this framework. The TSA protects the US while unlocking major opportunities for joint commercial partnerships and investment.
Supported by a whole-of-government effort, the Australian Space Agency led the TSA negotiations.
The TSA is subject to Australia’s final domestic treaty-making process, and we are expecting this to come into force in 2024.