The Australian federal government is set to announce on 8 May 2018 a AUS$50 million seed funding for the new national space agency, and is expected to name Dr. Megan Clark as the agencies first head.
A developed and advanced economy, the Australian government is late to creating a body to administer national space activities among its global peers, but Australia is a leading national security space user and the home to a growing New Space commercial sector. It is hoped that the Australian Space Agency will help promote further space activity in the country and the expanded exploitation of space for national and economic interests.
“Both the government and Labor have committed to functionally the same funding figure, which bodes well in that we have a bipartisan supported agency,” said Professor Duffy.
It is hoped that the creation of an Australian Space Agency will not only spur further growth of the Australian space sector, as well as greater awareness of space in Australia, but will also inspire young Australians to pursue careers in space.
“The inspirational value is worth the $50m price tag alone. There will be any number of future engineers and scientists inspired to go into STEM as a result of this space agency. They will now know there is a place for them,” added Professor Duffy.