Industry Minister to connect Australia with US space sector

Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry Science and Technology, will visit the US for the next week, to extol the abilities of Australian manufacturers.

Minister Andrews will meet with government and industry representatives in Washington DC, New York, Orlando, and San Francisco.

Riding on the momentum generated by the announcement of $150 million investment in Australia’s space industry to support the NSAS mission to the Moon and Mars, Andrews will highlight Australia’s burgeoning space sector.

“The world is on the cusp of a space boom and Australia’s space businesses and advanced manufacturers are ready to seize the opportunities for growth,” said Andrews.

Australia’s unique abilities in remotely controlled systems, remote health, and robotics have the potential to be part of the supply chain of international space agencies such as NASA.

“I know Australian businesses have the expertise and technology needed to compete in a global space economy. I’m travelling to the United States to ensure our space, manufacturing and digital technology businesses are on the front foot when NASA is looking for reliable suppliers and mission partners,” said Andrews.

With Australian businesses such as Equatorial Launch Australia already supplying expertise and facilities for NASA, particularly in low Earth orbit operations, familiarity between the two space sectors could lead to further collaboration, said Andrews.

“The aim of the visit is to strengthen existing partnerships and create new agreements that will benefit our space sector, as well as boost our digital and manufacturing industries.”

While in the US, Andrews will attend the 70th International Astronautical Congress, meet with NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Kelvin Droegemeier, US chief technology officer Mike Kratsios, and National Science Foundation direct, France A. Cordova. Meetings between Andrews and executives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Virgin Galactic, and Microsoft are also part of the itinerary.