Australia to get its own space agency, government says



SYDNEY (dpa)- Australia will have its own national space agency, joining the growing global space industry, a government minister announced on Monday.
Australia is the only OECD country, and one of the last developed nations, without a space agency.
"The global space industry is growing rapidly and it's crucial that Australia is part of this growth," Michaelia Cash, acting science and innovation minister, said in a statement.



"A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry.
"The agency will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our international engagement," she said.
The Australian space sector currently focuses on satellite manufacturing, support ground equipment manufacturing and the launch industry.
The global space industry's revenue is more than 420 billion dollars (334.6 billion US dollars) annually, according to the Australian government, and the sector had grown by about 10 per cent each year since the late 1990s.
The announcement comes after calls from the International Astronautical Federation, which is holding its annual congress in Adelaide, for Australia to establish its own space agency.
The former head of the Australian peak science body CSIRO, Megan Clark, is heading a reference group that found an overwhelming need for a local space agency.
Clark's team will develop a charter for the national space agency, which will be unveiled by March 2018.
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Monday, September 25th 2017
dpa
           


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