The US House of Representatives has commended the Commonwealth government on its establishment of the Australian Space Agency.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the resolution introduced to the US House of Representatives recognised the long history and partnership Australia and the US share in space.
“It recognises both this history and the value of ongoing co-operation between our two countries,” she said.
Minister Andrews said the Space Agency will help drive the growth of Australia’s space industry, creating new opportunities for businesses and creating jobs.
The resolution reads:
“Commends the Australian government in constituting the Australian Space Agency.
“Recognises the value in United States-Australia cooperation on space research, exploration, and utilisation, including on terrestrial research, commercial activities, and human and robotic space exploration.
“Supports deeper co-operation with our Australian allies in contributing each country’s unique strengths and resources to mutual prosperity and security.”
Minister Andrews said the Australian Space Agency will help the space sector to create 20,000 new jobs, with opportunities for businesses and new technology to support our farmers, logistics, transport and mining companies.
She said the Space Agency would inspire young people to shoot for the stars.
“Excitingly, the Australian Space Agency will inspire our young people – not just to dream of becoming an astronaut – but to appreciate the importance of studying STEM and understanding the opportunities it can lead to,” Minister Andrews said.
“In addition to creating the Space Agency, in the 2018-19 budget we invested $260 million to grow our world-leading satellite infrastructure.
“This investment will both help Australian businesses create new technologies – creating export and job opportunities – and benefit other Australian companies and industries.”
Although an early pioneer of space, hosting British launches and even launching its own satellite, Australia’s space business languished.
Australia used a wide range of space services but, unlike other OECD nations, had no national space agency.
That was recognised in the recent inquiry, which called for creation of a guiding national space agency.
The government agreed and the Australian Space Agency was officially launched in May, with the federal budget allocating initial funding of $41 million.
The agency is based in Canberra with former CSIRO chief Dr Megan Clark as its inaugural head.
The formation of the Australian Space Agency prompted plenty of lobbying from different states, with South Australia making a strong pitch to be the organisation’s new home.
However, Defence SA head Richard Price said Australia’s space business would not be dominated by any one state.