Australian space agency plans are about to lift off – CNET

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The Federal Government will announce plans for a space agency in Australia.

Jennifer Dudley/Flickr

The Land Down Under won’t lack an eye in the sky any longer.

Michaelia Cash, Australia’s acting science minister, said on Monday the country’s federal government would propose a national space agency at the 68th International Astronautical Congress, which meets in Adelaide from 25-29 September. The establishment of a space agency would spur job creation as Australia joined the growing space industry.

“A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry,” Cash was quoted as saying by the ABC, Australia’s national broadcaster. “The agency will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our international engagement.”

Australia doesn’t currently have its own space agency but participates in the activities of other country’s programs. For example, CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, manages NASA’s deep tracking space facility in the Australian Capital Territory.  

Neighboring New Zealand has also raised its profile in the space market. In May, Rocket Lab, a joint US-New Zealand company, launched a rocket with engines made by a 3D printer. 

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