Boeing and CSIRO announce expanded partnership

By on 31 January, 2018

Maureen Dougherty, president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Joe Hockey and CEO of CSIRO Larry Marshall. Image provided by CSIRO.

As Australia prepares to launch a national space agency, Boeing and CSIRO have revealed a strengthened, expanded partnership aimed at supercharging ‘new space’ R&D.

Announced at Boeing’s facility in El Segundo, California, on January 29, the firm says that this new phase of the partnership between the organisations is designed to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by Australia’s rapidly expanding space industry.

CSIRO, Australia’s peak scientific research agency has maintained a strong working collaboration with the aerospace giant that began in 1989, and this announcement sees them setting their sights on ‘new space’ frontiers in Australia.

The joint research will explore opportunities for space infrastructure and ground-based space facilities in Australia that could benefit for a range of space-related activities, with anticipated  research directions including the development of novel materials, sensors and software for data analytics.

“Boeing has worked with nations and companies around the world to explore the wonders of space since the very beginning of the space age,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Missile Systems.

“Now with Australia on the cusp of its own exciting space age, Boeing couldn’t have a better Australian R&D partner than CSIRO to work with on emerging space technologies.” Scientists from the US and Australia will collaborate on areas which are focused on the developing needs of the Australian space market.

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said: “CSIRO has a 75-year history of working in space, and while our scientists have achieved significant breakthroughs, there is still so much to know.  Extending our relationship with Boeing into the realm of ‘new space’ will help Australia and the world expand horizons, as well as monitor and better manage our own planet.”

The announcement follows last week’s news that South Australian startup Fleet Space will match dollar-for-dollar a $500k grant to establish a mission control centre in Adelaide to launch and manage their proposed fleet of nano- and micro-satellites to support Internet of Things connectivity.

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