Australia’s Morrison Pledges AU$150 Million to Support NASA’s Mission to Mars

September 21, 2019 Updated: September 22, 2019

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced during a visit to NASA headquarters in Washington an AU$150 million (about $102 million) investment in new technology and business to reinforce the U.S. space agency’s ambitions of going to the moon and then Mars.

Morrison said in a statement that the Australian Space Agency will be working to “foster the new ideas and high-technology skilled jobs that will make Australian businesses a partner of choice to fit out NASA missions,” The Guardian reported.

“The government’s support means Australian businesses and researchers will have the opportunity to showcase their immense knowledge and capabilities in projects that can support NASA’s Moon to Mars mission, such as Project Artemis and the Lunar Gateway,”  Morrison said.

“The Australian Space Agency will work closely with NASA to identify how they can best support their missions after the signing of a joint statement of intent on expanding cooperation.”

Trump was asked on Sept. 20 about the cooperation between the United States and Australia to develop the space program.

“We’re doing a great program,” Trump said, “And you know, we’re … going to Mars. We’re stopping at the moon. The moon is actually a launching pad. That’s why we’re stopping at the moon.”

“I said, ‘Hey, we’ve done the moon. That’s not so exciting.’ They said, ‘No, sir. It’s a launching pad for Mars.’ So we’ll be doing the moon. But we’ll really be doing Mars. And we’ll be—we’re making tremendous progress.”

The remarks were similar to what Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this year: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!” said Trump.

In October 2017, Trump broached the ambitious idea: “We will return Americans astronauts to the moon, not only to leave behind footprints and flags but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.”

From NTD News