Australia is the latest to join the league of nations having a space agency of their own. Its federal government just announced a plan to build a new national agency to grow Australia’s domestic space industry.
A team headed by former CSIRO chief Megan Clark has been formed to provide valuable inputs to the government on the scope and structure of the agency. The team will start offering its advice by March-end next year.
Space Agency to Reduce Dependency on Other Nations
Australia is one of the only two OECD nations that do not have a space agency. As per the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), Australian space industry accounts for less than 1% of the global space economy and it pulls in revenue to the tune of $3 billion to $4 billion, annually. Currently, it employs about 11,000 people.
SIAA also went on to observe that Australia is a “passive consumer” of satellite data as it depends mostly on partnerships with countries, mainly Europe, Japan, and the U.S., to purchase satellite data meant for use of businesses and individuals. The data is also used for insurance assessment, weather forecasting, and management of natural disasters.
However, with a national space agency, Australia can reduce its dependency on other nations for vital satellite data. Apart from that, it would also help to improve the economic growth by generating employment. It would better the national security and usher in the next generation of space technologies that would up efficiencies of industries such as mining, farming, logistics, technology, mobility, etc. It is expected to bolster connectivity too.