Canberra's research sector seen as a launchpad for space

Tue 22 Aug

Media Release via Chief Minister Andrew Barr


The ACT and South Australian Governments will work together to develop the space industry in Australia, under a new Memorandum of Understanding signed today at Mount Stromlo.

This new deal recognises that our two jurisdictions have complementary strengths in the space sector. South Australia brings a launch facility and its manufacturing history to this partnership, while we have significant strengths in our research community and the headquarters of a significant number of the big players in the space industry. Canberra is also home to a number of companies such EOS Space Systems, Geospatial Intelligence and Geoplex that are leaders in their field.



The Australian space industry is on the cusp of significant growth, thanks in part to the efforts of our two governments.

Both SA Premier Jay Weatherill and I have previously written to the Prime Minister asking the Commonwealth to take a lead in the development of this important sector. The recent decision by the Commonwealth to establish an Expert Reference Group to review Australia’s space capabilities is a small step in the right direction, which we hope leads to the establishment of a national coordinating body for the space industry.


via EOS Space Systems


Canberra has long been a vital part of the global space industry, transmitting signals and images from the first moon landing and from Mars, exporting world-leading telescope technology and hosting NASA’s deep space communication facilities. Recently UNSW Canberra was awarded delivery of the Buccaneer space program in conjunction with the Defence Science and Technology Group - a significant outcome for our growing space industry.

In fact the Defence White Paper’s commitment to strengthening Australian Defence Force capability in all aspects of space, including secure satellite communications, earth observation, space situation awareness and global navigation satellite systems is the catalyst for this MOU. Both Premier Weatherill and I recognise that this is a major opportunity to grow our economies as well as the national economy.



As the first action under this MOU I am looking forward to attending the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September and showcasing a number of Canberra’s key industry players including ANU, UNSW Canberra, EOS Space Systems, Geospatial Intelligence and Northrop Grumman.