Australian Space Agency
The Australian Space Agency is the public service agency of Australia responsible for the development of Australia's space industry, coordinating domestic activities, identifying opportunities and facilitating international space engagement.
|Formed||1 July 2018|
|Headquarters||Adelaide, South Australia, Australia|
|Annual budget||$9.8 million (2019/2020) |
|Parent department||Department of Industry, Innovation and Science|
The Agency has six primary responsibilities:
- Providing national policy and strategic advice on the civil space sector.
- Coordinating Australia's domestic civil space sector activities.
- Supporting the growth of Australia's space industry and the use of space across the broader economy.
- Leading international civil space engagement.
- Administering space activities legislation and delivering on our international obligations.
- Inspiring the Australian community and the next generation of space entrepreneurs.
In keeping with the above responsibilities, it is different from other established space programs in that it exists to promote private development and businesses.
As of 2008, Australia was the only OECD country without a space agency other than Iceland, with the preceding Australian Space Office (ASO) having been disbanded by the federal government in 1996. A government report from the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Economics noted that Australia was "missing out on opportunities" and recommended that an agency immediately be developed.
On 25 September 2017, at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Senator Simon Birmingham announced that the Australian Government would be launching a national space agency following an expert reference group investigation led by Dr. Megan Clark, former chief executive of CSIRO.
As part of the Australian Government's 2018 budget announcement, $26m in seed funding over four years from 2018 was included to establish the Australian Space Agency, with a further $15m for international space investment starting from 2019.
The budget was criticised for being inadequate by private Australian space companies including Delta-V and Gilmour Space Technologies, and space archaeologist Alice Gorman noted that low-budget attempts at starting an Australian space agency have failed in the past.
On 14 May 2018, Senator Michaelia Cash officially announced the launch of the Australian Space Agency, identifying 1 July 2018 as the commencement date of the agency. It will be located with the Industry Department in Canberra, and Dr. Megan Clark will be the inaugural Chief Executive of the agency for at least the first year.
On 12 December 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially announced that Adelaide would become home to the Australian Space Agency. It would be located at Lot Fourteen, the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2019.
|Dr. Megan Clark||AC, FTSE||15 May 2018||Incumbent|
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