Australian Space Agency signs European partnership

The Australian Space Agency continues to take new steps to open pathways for Australian industry to engage in the global space economy.

Last week, the Agency signed a statement of intent with the European Space Agency.

The statement will encourage both agencies to work closely together across deep space, communications, navigation, remote asset management, data analytics, and mission support projects.

“We are delighted to start working with the European Space Agency to open up opportunities for our industry and researchers to participate in joint missions,” said head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark.

While Australia has supported European space missions in the past, this latest agreement will expand the potential for collaboration, according to Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews.

“This signing will allow our agencies to explore further opportunities for cooperation, after 40 years of having worked together,” said Andrews.

The physical outcomes of this statement include a third antenna to be built on the New Norcia deep space tracking station in WA. Maintenance and operational support for the facility are provided by Australian scientists, employed by CSIRO.

Australia’s skills in earth observation has also been utilised by the European Space Agency. Copernicus Australasia, a joint project between Australian and New Zealand governments work with the European Space Agency to encourage broader access to the data generated by the Euro Copernicus program.

A Framework Agreement will undergo the process of endorsement by the ESA council later in the year, which will allow further formal cooperation.