Australia and India expand space cooperation

A new agreement between the Australian and Indian governments will further grow the space collaboration between the two countries.

The amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), builds on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and India announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the agreement strengthens existing ties between Australia and India and allows the two countries to work more closely in the space sector.

“Space is an exciting frontier and we can achieve great things by working together, including enhancing space science, technology and research collaboration – all while boosting our economies and creating jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“As one of Australia’s National Manufacturing Priorities, space is a key focus of our government, and we are delighted to work closely with India.

“Discussions are already underway for Australia to host vital tracking infrastructure as part of India’s Gaganyaan missions, which will place India as the fourth country to put humans in space.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said the signing symbolises the importance of the strong partnership between the Agency and ISRO, which will look to identify new areas of cooperation in space technology, applications, education and outreach.

“ISRO’s experience in spacecraft and systems engineering and ground stations to support space activities makes them a strategic partner for Australia as we grow our own national space capability and open doors for Australian business internationally,” Palermo said.

“Today’s signing signals a valuable opportunity for Australia to play a role in the Gaganyaan missions, further engage industry to grow our sector, and expand cooperation with India in space, science and research activities in the years to come.”

The federal government is investing more than $700 million to triple the size of Australia’s space sector by 2030 to $12 billion and create another 20,000 jobs.