Australia is prepared to declare the country’s first space agency. Despite the seemingly obvious emphasis on the use of space for commercial purposes, scientists hope that scientific endeavors will be pursued, as well.
The Australian government intends to allocate 38 million Australian dollars in start-up capital to help the future Australian space agency to commence, as it has been reported by the Australian press. On the other hand, the government’s announcement in this regard is scheduled for May 8th.
Megan Clark, the former Executive Director of the Commonwealth of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, was revealed as the future Director of the Australian space agency. She can be expected to help put the agency on the right track, according to Anna Moore, an astronomer from the Australian National University, in Canberra.
The Australian scientific community is welcoming the decision
Notwithstanding humble financing and the focus on commercial application, the choice to create the agency “is an important milestone for Australian industry and science,” according to Peter Quinn, the leading astronomer and the director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, in Perth.
“The main objective is to develop the commercial space industry in Australia, but my understanding is that there will potentially be a scientific component,” says Matthew Colless, an astrophysicist at ANU.
Colless points out that there’ s already some space science underway in Australia as space science teams have developed tiny satellites for surveys that range between astrophysics and Earth observation.
Also, the science community is hoping that a burgeoning Australian space agency will help the researchers upgrade the Australian satellites, according to Colless, as he adds that a national space agency might also lead to Australia’s inclusion within bigger international space missions. Besides, the future space agency will increase the science education programs since it will boost the Australian space program.