Space exploration and the related sciences surrounding our universe are growing interests for nations around the world, both developing and developed. Unfortunately, space-related activities are an expensive venture, and not all nations have the luxury of launching a rocket to study our solar system and beyond.
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On the other hand, Australia wants to change that about itself. The government announced this week its plans to establish the country’s first space agency to push the nation forward in space exploration and technological development.
Talks are already beginning and will continue for some time to come, but the full details of the scope and structure of Australia’s upcoming space agency won't be decided until a future date.
According to some reports, Australia's space agency will act very differently than existing agencies, like NASA. In some ways, it suggests that Australia will put the needs of the nation first and advancing humanity's understanding of outer space second.
"It will provide the vehicle for Australia to have a long-term strategic plan for space - a plan that supports the innovative application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry, including through defense space procurement," said Acting Industry Minister Michaelia Cash.
"But this is not just about an agency for an agency's sake: that is why the review process is so important. We now need to put in the hard work to determine what form of agency and what mandate is best suited to support our growing industry."
To this day, Australia is one of the world’s only remaining developed countries without its own space agency, so the announcement is exciting for both Australia and for the scientific community hoping to benefit from additional collaboration on the problems surrounding space technologies.
With space becoming so much more than just an optional frontier for scientific research as of late, Australia has a lot to gain by joining the limited global presence above our skies.
Many profitable ventures exist thanks to the seemingly-limitless needs of space experiments and astronaut travel. Additionally, it could reduce Australia’s dependence on other nations for satellite data and space research.
There’s no telling what kinds of activities Australia’s upcoming space agency will take part in, but it goes without saying that its establishment will create thousands of jobs and help strengthen both the country’s economy and scientific capabilities.
It should be interesting to see what becomes of the bold new venture.