New space projects to unlock opportunities for WA businesses

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The Federal Government and the Western Australian State Government are investing a total of $6 million in two space projects to help a range of industries across the nation to grow and create new jobs.

The firs project will see Fugro Australia Marine receive $4.5 million from the Commonwealth to build the Australian Space Robotics, Automation, and AI Command Control Complex (RAAICC) in Perth.

The Complex will be made available for start-ups, small businesses and researchers to control robotics activities in space, including servicing satellites in orbit.

The second project has been awarded to the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, which will receive $1.5 million to establish Australian Space Data Analysis Facility (ASDAF) in Perth.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said both projects are part of the Federal Government’s $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund.

“Both these projects highlight the fact that space is about so much more than the excitement of launch, it’s about developing technological capability which can drive growth across a range of industries,” Minister Andrews said.

“These investments will not only strengthen our place in the global space sector – it has flow-on effects for mining, agriculture, emergency services and maritime surveillance.

“It’s a win-win. We’re building on the capabilities that make Australian businesses a desirable partner for space projects around the world, as well as growing the industries that we have a natural advantage in like mining and agriculture.”

WA Science Minister Dave Kelly said cooperation in robotics, automation and AI is a key feature of the memorandum of understanding the Australian Space Agency signed last year with the WA Government, which has committed $3.5 million to the RAAICC and $750,000 to the ASADF on top of Commonwealth funding.

He said the WA Government’s investment in these centres will unlock new opportunities for WA businesses and academia to access global space supply chains and participate in international space initiatives such as NASA’s Moon to Mars mission.

“The RAAICCC will support the WA headquartered AROSE to capitalise on the State’s world-leading remote operations for use on-Earth and to adapt it for remote operations on the Moon, Mars and beyond,” Minister Kelly said.

“The Space Data Analysis Facility will support business across a range of sectors to develop new products and services and help improve productivity and innovation across key WA industries.”

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