By Jordan Chong
Boeing plans to work with Australia’s national space agency by supporting work on research and development, innovation and education programs as part of efforts to grow the country’s space economy.
The Australian Space Agency (ASA) and Boeing announced the partnership, in the form of a statement of strategic intent, at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on Tuesday (US time).
The Australian Space Agency has signed a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation with @BoeingAustralia, announced today at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. https://t.co/MN0a7rYDUk pic.twitter.com/EB0z09ccFd
— Australian Space Agency (@AusSpaceAgency) April 9, 2019
Boeing senior vice president, Space and Launch Jim Chilton said there were great opportunities ahead as Australia grew its space industry and national capabilities. “Expanding our relationship with the Australian Space Agency is a significant step for Boeing and a reaffirmation of our long-time teaming with Australia in space,” he said in a statement.
“It means a lot that we’ve signed this agreement during a year when the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, when both Boeing and Australia played important roles in that historic achievement.”
The federal government announced plans to set up a national space agency dates back in September 2017. The ASA, which is based in Adelaide and is chaired by Megan Clark, was officially established on July 1 2018 with Dr Megan Clark the inaugural head.
Part of the ASA’s remit is to triple the size of the country’s space sector $12 billion a year and increase employment to 30,000 jobs by 2030. It has four key roles and responsibilities; to lift national and international engagement; set national policy and strategy to realise Australia’s ambitions in the civil space sector; facilitate growth in space industry sector; and inspire the nation with Australian’s contribution to human endeavours in space.
Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews noted the partnership with Boeing was the sixth statement of strategic intent the national space agency had signed. “Boeing’s ongoing commitment to supporting science, technology, engineering and maths education, including developing a skilled and diverse workforce is vital to the growth and progress of Australia’s space economy,” she said in a statement.
“The statement begins an important partnership with Boeing, and emphasises the value of its ongoing research and development in collaboration with universities and research institutions across Australia.”
Dr Clark said collaboration and engagement, such as the partnership with Boeing, was important for growing the space economy in Australia and around the world.
“This Statement of Strategic Intent highlights Boeing’s existing collaboration with CSIRO, universities and industry in broad areas such as space debris monitoring, advanced manufacturing and fuel production in space, on-orbit imaging, VR and remote space craft operation,” Dr Clark said in the Boeing statement. “This partnership opens the doors for Australian innovators to participate in the global supply chain of the space sector.”
Boeing already had an existing long-standing partnership with the CSIRO, Australia’s peak science research agency. At the recent Avalon Airshow in February, Boeing and the CSIRO announced 20 new research projects and a focus on the joint-development of space-related technologies.