Australia’s space sector is taking off and offers huge opportunities for those wanting to work on emerging technologies.
We aim to triple the size of Australia’s space industry to A$12 billion and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030.
Our creativity, spirit of entrepreneurship, and valuable geographic location are key factors driving our nation’s space future – which builds substantially on our history of international collaboration in the areas of earth observation, space object tracking and communication.
Professor Junichiro Kawaguchi – Space explorer
Check out our new LEGO animated video featuring recent Australian arrival Professor Kawaguchi’s successful world-first mission to touchdown the spacecraft Hayabusa
Creating a galaxy of opportunities
Through the Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy, we’re growing a globally recognised sector that exports to international markets and supports national and international space missions. There are seven priority areas:
- Position, navigation and timing
- Earth observation from space
- Communications technologies and service
- Space situational awareness and debris monitoring
- Robotics and automation on Earth and in space
- Access to space
- Leapfrog R&D
Roadmaps for each priority area are being progressively rolled out. Co-developed with industry, government and researchers, these roadmaps identify opportunities for business and set out a clear guide to the sector’s growth over the next 10 years. The Communications Technologies and Services, Earth Observation from Space, and Robotics and Automation roadmaps are online now.
This decade has already produced some major highlights, including:
- an agreement with NASA for an Australian-made, semi-autonomous rover to be part of a future mission to the Moon
- a A$1.2 billion National Space Mission for Earth Observation, which will see Australia design, build and operate four new satellites
- the announcement of a Space Strategic Update that will set a nationally aligned vision through to the 2040s.
Ready for launch
Australia’s emerging space industry is a magnet for the industry’s best and brightest.
There are opportunities in:
- robotics and automation systems
- commercialisation of rocket technology
- nano and small satellites
- launch vehicles and facilities
- propellants and fuels
- payloads, sensors and communications arrays
- position, navigation and timing tools
- solar panels
- structural components and optical wireless
- communication technologies
- aerospace medicine
- remote health.
If you’re looking to collaborate with world-class experts, either as an established enterprise or a start-up, SmartSat CRC has partnership opportunities for a host of space research projects in telecommunications and IoT connectivity, intelligent satellite systems and Earth observation data services.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, also welcomes business and research partnerships in space. Propose a new project or get involved in one of its many existing programs.
'Australia’s investment in space exploration will generate economic returns that will benefit generations to come.' – Dr Jill Seubert from the USA now based in Australia
- The Australian space sector is growing at an annual rate of 7.1%, outpacing GDP
- The total investment pipeline for the Australian civil space sector is worth approximately A$2 billion
- The market size of Australia’s space industry is estimated to grow by more than A$8 billion by 2030
- 30,000 people could be working in the Australian space sector by 2030.
Incentives, grants and support
- The A$150 million Moon to Mars initiative is supporting Australian businesses and researchers to showcase their best ideas and technologies so they can join NASA's inspirational plan to return to the Moon and then go on to Mars. It includes:
- Moon to Mars Supply Chain Program non-competitive capability grants.
- Moon to Mars Demonstrator Program to develop space projects (already awarded).
- The A$65.7 million Fast Tracking Access to Space initiative will get Australian technologies into space sooner and make our nation a leading launch destination. This includes A$30 million for the procurement and provision of spaceflights, and co-investment of over A$30 million to develop or grow spaceport sites.
- Australia is also building critical infrastructure to ensure the growth of the sector through the A$19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund.
- The International Space Investment initiative (ISI) is helping unlock international space opportunities for Australia, having awarded A$11 million to 24 Australian organisations already. The ISI will be further expanded, with a dedicated A$25 million for Australian businesses and researchers to tap into India’s booming space industry and a further A$3 million for broader international partnerships.
- The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.
The space sector is just starting to boom, and there is an increasing focus on innovation and sustainability ... opportunities abound, and this is definitely a place to have at the top of your list!
Building national capability in Australian businesses and research organisations and inspiring the next generation of the space workforce is central to the Australian Government’s goal of tripling the size of the civil space industry to $12 billion and creating up to another 20,000 jobs by 2030. The future of the industry is bright as we advance the mission to grow and transform a civil space sector that lifts the broader economy, and inspires and improves the lives of all Australians.
We are a vast and diverse country offering incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals to help shape our future, while paying homage to a rich past with the oldest continuing culture on Earth. Indigenous knowledge from astronomy to agriculture is helping us create national SpaceTech industries, unlocking precision farming with satellites and much more.
From generous Government funding for advancing our high-tech economy to countless vibrant local community initiatives, Australia is committed to a just and prosperous future that will make the most liveable nation on Earth an even better place to live.
Exciting new projects
Funding of A$6 million from the Space Infrastructure Fund helped Saber Astronautics to establish a national Mission Control Centre, enabling experts and researchers to control small satellite missions.
Fugro Australia Marine will establish the Australian Space Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC) to encourage local research and development of remote asset management capabilities for use in space.
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has established the Australian Space Data Analysis Facility to ensure the most effective use of space information.
The Australian National University is establishing the National Space Qualification Network, which will offer end-to-end payload testing services to Australian manufacturers.
The Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN) has awarded A$52 million to a consortium led by Gilmour Space Technologies to create a manufacturing and test hub and an advanced manufacturing facility to produce launch vehicles and satellites.
The ASMN is also supporting the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland, preparing its launch pad to fire rockets into orbit. Over the next five years, it’s expected the project will support more than 850 new jobs, including 350 space manufacturers in highly skilled engineering and technical roles.
A consortium led by Fleet Space Technologies will develop an Australian Space Manufacturing Hub at Adelaide’s Australian Space Park. This A$66 million project is expected to create 221 local jobs, and another 1,000-plus indirect jobs.
A funding contribution of A$50 million from the Trailblazer Universities initiative is supporting the development of the University of Southern Queensland led ‘Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications, and Hypersonics’ Hub (iLAuNCH Hub).
'It’s an exciting time in the Australian Space industry and I’m honoured to be part of it!' – Lynn McDonald from the US, now based in Canberra