NT, space agency partner to nurture local space sector

By on 11 August, 2020

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Hon. Michael Gunner and Dr. Megan Clark AC. Image credit: MP Karen Andrews/Twitter.

The Australian Space Agency and Northern Territory have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate to develop the territory’s local industry, and help it harness space-related benefits.

In line with agreements the agency has signed with other Australian states and territories, the MoU with the NT will see the territory work together to nurture local capacity in space activities, as well as drive uptake of space-derived data and analytics capability.

Agency head Dr. Megan Clark AC said that the partnership will develop the growing profile of space infrastructure in the NT.

“Growing the Northern Territory’s space sector improves other parts of the local economy through the application of space technologies to areas like bushfire tracking, emergency management, and agriculture,” she said.

“Existing infrastructure from ground stations such as the indigenous, owned and operated, Centre for Appropriate Technology, and the Alice Springs Balloon Launching Facility show the capability that exists within the Northern Territory.”

According to material released by the agency, the new agreement highlights opportunities to engage internationally and regionally on space activities, and the announcement bodes well for Equatorial Launch Australia’s Arnhem Space Complex at Nhulunbuy.

“The proximity of the Territory to the equator also means advantages for commercial rocket launch. The Agency has the role of ensuring the regulatory environment for space launch activities balances safety and entrepreneurship,” Dr. Clark said.

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