Space policy in Australia to focus on satellites

Posted on April 9, 2013 12:00 am

The Federal Government of Australia has few moments ago launched a satellites policy that will form the backbone of Australia’s space programme. A close friend attended the launch and has revealed to me that Satellite Utilization Policy is part of the Australian Government’s $40 million space research and education initiative. Three years ago, federal government earned $3.3 billion from satellite imagery, with the expected earnings from geographic positioning systems expected to hit up to $12 billion by 2030. According to the new policy, Australia must contribute selectively to the  prioritized International missions if the nation is to benefit from the information they provide.

The policy states that commercial companies and international satellite owning and operating partners will meet Australia’s short-term needs by sharing capacity. Mainly, communications, position, navigation and timing will form the mainstay of Australia’s satellite activities, along with observing and studying the earth from space. As part of the policy, tracking and dealing with orbiting space junk and supporting appropriate international space arms control and transparency and confidence-building measures. Australia’s Satellite Utilization Policy does not commit Australia to human spaceflight, domestic launch capabilities or exploration of other planets. Come July this year, a new Space Coordination Committee will be set up within the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, tasked with coordinating the country’s civilian activities.

Contador Harrison