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Australia Announces New Space Agency to Develop Domestic Space Industry

Most developed nations have a space agency, including New Zealand, and there are concerns Australia may be not be capitalising on the growing industry. The Federal Government will detail the long-term plans at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, where the Opposition will also reveal its own plan.

 

Australia will establish a national space agency as part of long-term plan to develop the country’s domestic space industry. Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham made the announcement at the International Astronautical Congress.

 

The global space industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 9.52 percent from 1998 to 2015.

 

Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 and the five-day Congress is expected to draw more than 4,000 space professionals, including astronauts, engineers, scientists, and innovators, from all over the world.

 

"We have longstanding ties with NASA, exploring space together and generating all of these jobs. And that's the key point of both the Government's and Labor's plans, it is a jobs industry-first agency," Astrophysicist Alan Duffy told ABC News Breakfast.

 

"It's designed to create satellites and new uses for the images that come from those satellites, and I don't mean giant, bus-sized satellites of the '60s and '70s. "Thanks to smart phones something the size of a toaster has the same capabilities as some of these historic launches. So we get to space cheaper and we can do more when we're there."

 

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