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New South Wales And Luxembourg Sign MOU On Future Space Activities

Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Photograph courtesy of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA).

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the State of New South Wales, Australia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on future space activities. This agreement sets up a framework for cooperation on space-related activities in areas including space science and space policy and law.

Particular emphasis is given to exploration and sustainable utilisation of space resources and the desire to foster a sustainable use of space and its resources. Potential areas of space science collaboration include technology and applications such as high-tech instrumentation, ground communications and services, smart payloads development, space and intra-space communications and commercialisation of space data.

This agreement enables a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and personnel as well as the exploration of commercial possibilities. New South Wales and Luxembourg both have strong space industries and research communities.

“The cooperation with NSW is yet another driver behind Luxembourg’s ambition to become a European hub for the exploration and use of space resources,” said Étienne Schneider Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy. “We are focused on supporting a sustainable ecosystem for the space industry and offering a platform in Europe for commercial space development.”

The MoU is an outcome of Minister Schneider’s space industry meeting with Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, during Schneider’s visit to Sydney in November 2019.

“NSW already excels in mining technology and services, including smart sensor systems, robotics and automation,” Ayres said. “This MoU will help the State build and deliver on its world-leading research in such areas as space resource utilisation.”

New South Wales is home to over 40 percent of Australia’s space industry, encompassing a broad range of space capabilities. It undertakes significant research into applying its successful technical fields to the exploration, exploitation and utilisation of space resources. Luxembourg has a thriving space industry and research community, fostered by government policy designed to encourage high tech industry, particularly space. The contribution of Luxembourg space sector to the nation’s GDP is among the highest in Europe.

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