Australian astronaut to go into space after government encouragement

Fleet Space, Centauri 3 launched into orbit on Tuesday, March 23. Photo: RocketLab

The federal government has asked the national space agency to embark on a mission to send an Australian astronaut into space, and also announced an additional $65 million in industry funding to bring local technology “into space earlier”.

On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement saying his government was increasing investment to develop the space sector. The money would be spent developing cutting-edge technology and creating jobs, he said, pointing out that $800 million had been spent since 2018 to triple the size of Australia’s space sector.

The Australian Space Agency has also been tasked with international partners to return an Australian astronaut to space.

“The journey to send an Australian into space means a serious investment in local jobs, local technology and local businesses,” Morrison said.

“All of this means new technologies that make things simpler and safer, job opportunities that come from a booming industry, or technological advancements that can be applied in our daily lives,” he said. added, referring to the government’s goal of creating an additional 20,000 jobs. jobs in the space sector by 2030.

the Australian Space Agency will receive another funding allocation exceeding $32 million to provide spaceflight and services. Some of that money will go towards a new “flight qualification,” which will certify the technology’s transition from the lab to space, and a $3.5 million national student space challenge to send payloads into orbit. .

According to the head of the space agency Enrico Palermo, the gaps in the local sector would be filled by the government program for accelerated access to space. In particular, he said the money would support initiatives to get new products into space faster.

“This co-investment in spaceport development clearly shows Australia’s intentions – we want to become a launch nation of choice to attract new private sector investment,” Palermo said.

“We are already a desirable launch location thanks to a range of factors, including our unique geographic perspective and political stability – this investment will cement that reputation.”

The development of three new or existing spaceports will also benefit from more than $32 million in government co-investment.

Science and Technology Minister Melissa Price said she hoped government money would boost business capabilities and improve access to global supply chains.

“Investments through the Australian Space Agency and prioritization of the space sector through our modern manufacturing strategy and the Australian Economic Accelerator [sic] are an investment in the future of all Australians,” Price said.

South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall acknowledged the funding announcement was part of the federal government’s election campaign. He welcomed the boost given to the industry in his state and said that 1,600 jobs in the space sector had already been created in South Africa.

“Today’s announcement is going to see that number take off,” Marshall said.

“This sector is becoming gangbuster and that means our young South Australians can have rewarding careers in the space sector here without having to move from state to state or overseas,” a- he declared.

South Australia is home to the Space Discovery Centre, Mission Control, the Australian Space Agency, the Australian Space Park and over 90 space-related businesses.

This article was first published by Mandarin.

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