The new Australian Space Agency is set to become the centre for Australia’s burgeoning space industry, with headquarters located in Adelaide, SA. The agency is predicted to help triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 new jobs by 2030, which is great news for our CASE Space School graduates!
With Australia’s extensive historic involvement in the industry, many believe that an Australian Space Agency is long overdue. Countries including Uruguay, Bahrain, Mongolia and South Africa already have established government space agencies, however they have minimal to no operational and launch capabilities. In fact, of the 72 different government agencies that are in existence today, only 14 if these have launch capability, of which Australia is one.
The Australian Space Agency is capable of launching sounding rockets – also known as research rockets – and operating satellites. This will be coordinated from a small Mission Control located at headquarters. While there is currently no capability or plans for human spaceflight, the possibility has not been ruled out for the future of the Space Agency, and Australia may yet have their very own Astronauts.
Currently the primary responsibility of the Agency, according to the Australian Space Agency Charter, is to provide national policy and strategic advice on the civil space sector, as well as support the growth of the Australian space industry and coordinate civil space sector activities. The Agency is also responsible for delivering on international space obligations and leading engagement on a global scale. Last, but certainly not least, the Australian Space Industry has an official responsibility to inspire the next generation of space entrepreneurs.
Our CASE Space School graduates are this next generation of space entrepreneurs. They have a head-start on their peers after having seen inside NASA, spoken to experts in the industry, and developed their own personal skills including teamwork and leadership qualities. Over the next 10 years the Australian Space Agency will be expanding rapidly, and searching for candidates in diverse fields such as engineering, robotics, law, biology, medicine… Space technologies are not just about taking people to the moon, and a career in this sector contributes to developments in many other industries including communication, agriculture, mining and more. As stated by Dr Megan Clark, head of the Australian Space Agency, “Space underpins almost every part of the broader economy… Space will be a defining domain for human endeavour and will change what we do on Earth.”
This chapter in Australian Space involvement is just beginning, and our graduates are perfectly situated in their schooling and life-experiences to enter at the ground level and help shape the future of the industry. Our advice is to take every opportunity, follow your dream, commit to your goals, and in the words of NASA’s JPL and our ever-supportive guest speaker Tom Nolan, “Dare mighty things!”