The Australian space industry will receive $50m of “seed funding” in next Tuesday’s federal budget, the ABC reports.
Australia is set to join a market worth roughly $420 billion annually.
Western Sydney University Dean of Law Steven Freeland helped review the sector over the last six months, alongside former CSIRO CEO Dr Megan Clark, who will head the new space agency.
“We’ve spent the last seven months going around the country, looking at extraordinary opportunities for Australian entrepreneurs, scientists and companies to further participate in the global space economy,” he said.
There are almost 90 companies and over 11500 employees relevant to the Australian space industry and Freeland welcomes the idea of a central space agency headquarters.
“The agency will be a coordinating body that will galvanise and promote the industry in Australia — and excite the Australian population about the joys and opportunities space offers,” Steven Freeland said.
“We’re already regarded very highly in various areas, we are experts in a number of fields, but the establishment of the agency will certainly help in being a coordinator, a central body assisting and guiding opportunities in the right direction.”
Curtin University Professor Steven Tingay said a space agency is lighting a fire under academic-industry collaborations with big goals in space industry.
“For Australia as a whole there is a great opportunity to access what are really massive international markets in space industry across a wide range of activities,” he said.
“We could have the opportunity to work in missions to other planets, earth observation or astrophysics missions, there’s a whole spectrum of activities that I’m looking forward to.
“Being involved directly in missions and mission science is going to bring great benefits to Australian industry, academia and society in general.”