Australia, France join to build space industry capability

Monday, 03 September, 2018

Australia, France join to build space industry capability

The Australian Space Agency and its French counterpart have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will help both nations work together to develop their respective space programs and take full advantage of the rapidly expanding global space industry.

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, welcomed the agreement signed by the head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall.

The agreement will help both countries join forces to develop their space capabilities, particularly in the areas of space operations, space science, Earth observation, positioning system and communications.

“This strategic association between the Australian and French governments’ space agencies will help our nations’ universities, research institutions, businesses and communities work together across a range of fields,” said Andrews. “It builds on an existing track record of cooperation between CNES and Australia, and allows both countries to embark on an ambitious partnership.”

The first steps are already underway, with CNES partnering with UNSW Canberra Space in the development of the Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF) for the development of world-class space missions, and for studies towards the development of satellite technologies with advanced sensors and onboard processing and intelligence.

This facility will fast-track Australia’s ability to deliver space technology, provide a boost to economic growth and jobs in Australia, and support future joint missions.

Dr Clark said the signing of the agreement represented the start of the Australian Space Agency’s journey with fellow spacefaring nations.

“Civil space engagement initiatives like this with the French Space Agency will explore advanced space technology and applications used in Earth observation and remote sensing with high-altitude balloons and satellites, space operations and joint missions,” said Dr Clark.

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall also welcomed the agreement.

“Today, CNES proudly becomes the Australian Space Agency’s very first international partner. Australia’s amazing ramp-up shows the now crucial importance of space for our economies. The joint projects coming out of today’s agreement will ultimately bring growth and jobs both in Australia and in France.”

A rocket launch from Woomera, South Australia. Source: Defence Image Gallery.

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