Australia, India expand space cooperation agreement

Image Credit: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Australian Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have reached a new agreement to further unlock space collaboration between the two countries and create new jobs.

Building on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and India announced last year, the amended agreement will see the Agency and ISRO work closely together to identify new areas of cooperation in space technology, applications, education and outreach.

Making the announcement, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the agreement strengthens existing ties between Australia and India and allows the two countries to work closer than ever in space for the benefit of both nations.

“Space is an exciting frontier and we can achieve great things by working together, including enhancing space science, technology and research collaboration – all while boosting our economies and creating jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“As one of Australia’s National Manufacturing Priorities, space is a key focus of our Government and we are delighted to work closely with India.

“Discussions are already underway for Australia to host vital tracking infrastructure as part of India’s Gaganyaan missions, which will place India as the fourth country to put humans in space.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said the signing symbolises the importance of ‘the strong collaborative partnership between the Agency and ISRO’.

“ISRO’s experience in spacecraft and systems engineering and ground stations to support space activities makes them a strategic partner for Australia as we grow our own national space capability and open doors for Australian business internationally,” Mr Palermo continued.

“Today’s signing signals a valuable opportunity for Australia to play a role in the Gaganyaan missions, further engage industry to grow our sector, and expand cooperation with India in space, science and research activities in the years to come.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Government and the Government of the Republic of India was signed by Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo and Chair of ISRO and Head of the Indian Department of Space, Dr K Sivan on 17 February 2021.