Australia to create national space agency


Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in the Australian Capital TerritoryImage copyright
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The Australian government has committed to creating a national space agency

Australia will establish a national space agency to grow its space industry, the government has said.

The nation is one of the only developed countries in the world not to have a space agency.

Acting Industry Minister Michaelia Cash said it was “crucial” that Australia capitalised on the rapid growth of the global space industry.

It follows a domestic industry review which had called for a dedicated body to be established.

“The agency will be the anchor for our domestic co-ordination and the front door for our international engagement,” Ms Cash said.

The government is expected to announce further details at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide this week.

The conference will be attended by thousands of global space experts, including the heads of other national agencies and private companies.

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Media captionWhy firms are spending millions to beat each other into orbit

The Australian government estimates the global space industry to be worth about A$420bn (£247bn; $323bn) each year.

Currently, Australia’s industry produces about A$4bn each year and employs up to 11,500 people.

Australia and Iceland are the only OECD nations without a space agency, according to the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA).

The country is largely reliant on overseas nations like the United States for its satellite and earth observation data.

The SIAA has argued that Australia is well placed to expand its space technologies because of its location, large geographical size and relatively low population.



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