First national space mission design facility opened at UNSW Canberra

Released 27/11/2017

Today marks another important milestone in Canberra’s space history with the opening of the Australian National Concurrent Design Facility for Space Missions at UNSW Canberra.

The facility is the first of its kind in Australia and will be used by some of the best and brightest engineering and academic minds in the nation. Combined with the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre at Mount Stromlo, we now have capability for the design, assembly and testing of spacecraft and components for future space missions.

My government made a commitment to work with our higher education institutions and industry to support the development of a space industry in Australia. We have led the debate in Australia over a national space industry and I believe Canberra should be at the heart of Australia’s space capabilities.

Our funding for this facility is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to the growth of the space industry both nationally and here in Canberra.

Australia is on the cusp of a significant economic development opportunity in the space industry, which globally is worth over AUD$440 billion and is growing at eight per cent a year. On my recent trip to the United States, I met with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX and Planet, which all share significant interests in space industry development.

These meetings cemented in my mind that Australia’s space agency must focus on the commercialisation of space and also clearly identify those niche areas where Australia has the capability to make an impact on this huge market.

We are the home of the nation’s space industry leaders and Canberra has become Australia’s space capital.

Canberra is the logical place for Australia’s national space agency to be located and this facility will provide Canberra and Australia with the edge that we need to succeed in this competitive market.

I look forward to working with Professor Michael Frater and his team at UNSW Canberra to achieve our joint goals.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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