Canberra hands local manufacturing network AU$52m to build space hub

A manufacturing facility to produce launch vehicles and satellites is also expected to be built.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Australian government said it will hand AU$52 million to the Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN) to help commercialise and launch space concepts in Australia. 

The ASMN was formed last September by over 30 Australian space manufacturing companies. It is led by Gilmour Space Technologies with support from the Queensland government.

As part of the funding, Gilmour Space Technologies will work with partners and universities to create a manufacturing and test hub, and a manufacturing facility to produce launch vehicles and satellites.

The funding will also be used to support Queensland-based Bowen Orbital Spaceport, which is preparing its launch pad to fire rockets into orbit.

Minister for Industry Angus Taylor said the investment will further encourage collaboration between industry and researchers to get more satellites into space.

"From testing to manufacture, to assembly and finally launch, this project will harness great Aussie know-how to attract further private investment and create hundreds of high-skilled and high-value jobs," he said.

"Through the work of the Australian Space Agency we already know that space technologies are playing an increasingly important role on earth, supporting navigation systems which draw on them in our cars and smartphones and by farmers to monitor the health of their crops."

The project is expected to support 850 new jobs, including 350 space engineering and technical roles over the next five years, the federal government claimed.

The funding will be delivered under the collaboration stream of the federal government's AU$1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

"Space and manufacturing go hand in hand. By backing this project, we are ensuring Australia can deliver across the entire space supply chain, from design and manufacturing through to launch and operation," Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said.

"It also emphasises to our young people that there are a range of jobs with all different skills that are available to them in space, from actual rocket scientists through to space tradies."

This is the latest cash injection the federal government has announced for the local space sector. Last month, it invested an additional AU$65 million to develop three new or existing spaceport sites around Australia, and enable the Australian Space Agency to procure and provision spaceflights and services for the Australian space sector.


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