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Investing in Australia’s Space Capabilities

Image Credits: Invest in South Australia, Government Website, Youtube Video

The government has announced the latest series of investments into the Australian Space Park set to be built in Adelaide, boosting the development of satellites and flying cars. It will make South Australia the largest satellite manufacturer in the country, according to the government, and will create over 1,200 direct and indirect jobs. The federal government has invested $20 million into the hub, alongside SA’s additional $20 million funding – marking the total at AUS$66 million for the park.

First announced in December 2021, it will be located at Adelaide Airport due to its proximity to key aerospace companies, and Lot Fourteen where the Australian Space Agency resides. The Silicon Valley-like park is a partnership with the South Australian government, alongside four companies. The “purpose-built facility” will boost manufacturing capabilities with a focus on small satellites and their payloads, rockets and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL).

One company, a small satellite manufacturer, will design, engineer and accelerate the development of small satellites to drive down costs and democratise the technology, according to the company. The second company, the company behind the Airspeeder flying car race series, will be developing the technology as a testbed for future air mobility.

The Minister for Defence Industry and Science and Technology stated that the project will “future-proof” the industry, making it more “self-sufficient”. She noted that this project will lock in Australia’s ability to deliver along the entire space supply chain. From research and design through to manufacture and operation, Australia’s credentials as a leading space nation are going to be significantly strengthened by this investment, she added.

Globally, the space sector is set to grow to US$1 trillion by 2040, and Australia is positioning itself to be a world leader in the industry. While many have said the increased funding is being used as leverage for the upcoming election, the SA Premier stated that it is all about “building a stronger future and opening new opportunities” and space achieves both.

The news comes only days after the Morrison government announced an AUS$65 million funding into developing more launch sites and blasting off more Australian astronauts into space. OpenGov Asia reported earlier that the Australian government is injecting more than AUS$65 million to get Australian technologies into space sooner and to make the country a leading destination for launch.

In another major boost for the Australian space sector that will drive jobs and technology investment, the government has also instructed the Australian Space Agency to embark on a mission to put an Australian astronaut back into space.

The nation’s Prime Minister stated that the new $65 million funding was part of the government’s ongoing mission to expand the sector, invest in cutting edge technologies and create new jobs. He noted that Australia is ready to launch and they are backing Australian companies and workers to look up and aim high. The journey to sending an Australian into space means serious investment in local jobs, local technologies and local businesses.

The Australian Space Agency will also receive more than AU$32 million to procure and provide spaceflights and services for the Australian space sector. This will help the sector gain an important ‘flight qualification’ – a common barrier to transitioning space technology from the laboratory to space. The AU$ 32 million+ includes an AU$ 3.5 million national student space challenge that would see student payloads sent into orbit. The Agency has also been tasked with international partners to put an Australian astronaut back into space.

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