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New $18 million funding for Australian-Indian space projects

The Australian Government has announced a new $18 million investment in collaborative space projects between India and Australia.

The Australian companies involved in the projects are LatConnect60, Space Machines Company and Skykraft.

These projects will strengthen the partnership of both nations and address the challenges of climate change as a part of the International Space Investment (ISI) India Projects program.

Australia India Institute CEO, Lisa Singh, said the collaboration will allow both nations’ space technologies to grow.

“Australia and India possess significant untapped potential as space partners. As they become closer economic and security partners, the areas for cooperation on space technologies will grow,” said Singh.

Minister for Industry and Science, Hon Ed Husic, said that the innovations developed as a part of the program will work to address worldwide issues and support Australian industries.

“The innovations that will be developed as part of these projects are going to help address some of our greatest challenges of today like climate change, while also driving gains in areas like advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence that will promote a Future Made in Australia,” said Husic.

LatConnect60 has been awarded almost $5.8 million to develop a Low Earth Orbit satellite in Australia to collect information on carbon emissions.

The satellite launching in India aims to significantly lower the cost of data acquisition of key indicators like methane and carbon dioxide to support agriculture and resources sectors to achieve emissions reduction.

Space Machines Company has been awarded more than $8.5 million for ‘Space Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation’ (MAITRI) which will demonstrate on-orbit transportation and space debris mitigation.

Space MAITRI will incorporate an Australian-built Orbital Servicing Vehicle, sent into space on a dedicated Indian launcher.

Skykraft has been awarded $3.7 million to propose and validate a new position, navigation and timing system to better connect large-scale satellite constellations for Earth observation and forecasting weather.

Each project includes Australian and Indian partners to build valuable commercial links with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Indian space sector.

The projects align with agreed priority areas developed from more than a dozen consultation sessions led by the Australian Space Agency and involving more than 500 stakeholders.

Australia and India have a long history of collaboration in space, including Australia helping track India’s historic landing on the South Pole of the Moon in 2023.

The first round of the ISI India Projects program was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2023 as a part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between both nations.

 

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