Sovereign rocket launch research receives funding

A research project on rocket propulsion technology, titled Responsive Access to Space, will receive almost $3 million under the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) Program.

The project, which has also attracted in excess of $10 million of cash and in-kind contributions from industry and university stakeholders, is a collaboration between Melbourne based defence technology company DefendTex, RMIT University, University of Sydney, University of South Australia, Universitat de Bundeswehr, Defence Science and Technology Group and Innosync.

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Zed Seselja said the project aims to to create the opportunity for sovereign space launch capability with the development of a flight ready Rotating Detonation Engine with advanced control of inlet, injection and fuel mixing processes.

“The CRC Program is at the heart of the Government’s commitment to supporting innovation, and industry-research collaboration in Australia,” Seselja said.

“The research outcomes for the Responsive Access to Space Project have the potential to give Australia access to an efficient and cost effective Low Earth Orbit Launch Capability, presenting the opportunity for satellites to be launched from Australia.”

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Michaelia Cash said the investment builds on the Coalition’s $41 million commitment over the next four years to kick-start the Australian Space Agency.

“With the access to the global space economy that our Agency will facilitate, we could potentially triple the size of our current domestic industry – to around $12 billion by 2030 – and create up to 20,000 new jobs for Australians,” Minister Cash said.

Senator for Victoria, state minister Mitch Fifield said the government support for research in Victoria was good for jobs and Australia’s future space industry.

“Seventy per cent of the Responsive Access to Space Project will be undertaken here in Victoria. We are investing in our local businesses, like DefendTex, to undertake globally competitive research, support local jobs, and retain high-level jobs here in Australia,”  Fifield said.