Business Envoy February 2022
Australia's space sector - we have lift-off
Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency
Launch is no doubt the most exciting element of space. Seeing a rocket or satellite shoot into orbit sends a tingle down the spine – be it that of a bright-eyed young kid or the most seasoned space professional.
But for Australia, launch is more than just awe-inspiring – it's an area of economic opportunity that we at the Australian Space Agency are working diligently to grow.
The global space launch services market is expected to reach US$29.6 billion by 2027.
Australia has a unique opportunity to carve out a healthy piece of this growing industry. Our geographical advantages and political stability alone make us an attractive destination for launch activities.
Access to Space is a priority area for our Agency. We're working with the local space sector to capitalise on our natural advantage and draw- on international investment.
Australia has a long space history, including in launch. We were sending things into space from ‘Down Under' more than half a century ago.
But as space evolves and becomes more accessible, launches are now more affordable and frequent. This presents a golden opportunity for our nation.
In 2021, we had two launch facility licenses granted to Australian company Southern Launch and a launch permit granted to international company TiSPACE for a hybrid rocket test flight.
Australia's unique launch possibilities have also caught the attention of NASA, which is working with Equatorial Launch Australia toward a launch at the Arnhem Space Centre in the Northern Territory in mid-2022.
The fact that NASA has picked Australia, for its first launch at a commercial facility outside of the USA, reflects the momentum we are currently seeing in our local space sector.
There are other space businesses around Australia readying for launch too – and the Australian Space Agency is working with them to make that happen.
With a responsibility to both regulate and grow the space sector - we are determined to make Australia a thriving and safe destination for launch.
And our message to the global space sector is that Australia is open for launch business.