Start your engines: Moon to Mars Demonstrator grants open

By on 4 November, 2020

Start your engines: Demonstrator grants supporting space technologies are open until December 22. Image: SpaceX.

$3.7 million Demonstrator feasibility grants for projects to support NASA’s Moon to Mars mission are now open.

The federal government has announced the opening of the second program in its $150 million plan to activate Australia’s space sector.

The initiative aims to support Australian high end manufacturing and R&D to develop technologies and services to support NASA’s ambitious plans for a Moon return and eventual mission to Mars.

The Demonstrator program offers grants between $50,000 to $200,000 to help fund demonstrator pilot projects, seeking to highlight ‘investment-ready Australian capabilities’ to the world.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said that while program sought to back projects applicable to deep space missions, many such projects could have other applications.

“Space isn’t just about launch. Space technology can improve our lives, from assisting in the delivery of remote rural medicine, helping us stay connected with loved ones across the world and assisting farmers to manage their land through advancements in robotics,” she said.

“We’re also focused on building manufacturing capability and growing the space sector here at home.”

According to the Australian Space Agency, the feasibility grant program is the two-year, first phase of the Demonstrator program.

“The Demonstrator Feasibility grants are about building capacity and capability in entities that are at the starting point on the path to developing and launching products into space,” said agency head, Dr. Megan Clark AC.

“Space exploration opens up new opportunities for Australia as it provides an avenue for Australian businesses to apply our best technology and know-how to space missions. These activities can also support the creation of high-value manufacturing capability, which can be transferred to other industries.”

Applications are open until December 22. Apply here.

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