South Australian Premier Steven Marshall is over the moon that Australia will support the U.S. space project, saying it will be a great investment for the state.
He told reporters on Saturday he “couldn’t be more excited” that the Australian and American space agencies signed the joint statement of intent.
“It’s a pretty exciting project to be involved in—assisting NASA getting to the moon,” Marshall said.
“We’re the home of the headquarters Mission Control and Space Discovery Centre for the Australian Space Agency and I think it’s going to get even more investment into our state.”
The federal government will spend $150 million helping Australian businesses and researchers position themselves to take advantage of the new deal with NASA.
“The Morrison Government is positioning Australia for lift-off with a $150 million investment into our local businesses and new technologies that will support NASA on its inspirational campaign to return to the Moon and travel to Mars,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“The five year investment will see the Australian Space Agency foster the new ideas and hi-tech skilled jobs that will make Australian businesses a partner of choice to fit out NASA missions.
“It will also support Australian businesses to become more competitive in international space supply chains and to increase Australia’s share in a growing US$350 billion global space market.
“We’re backing Australian businesses to the moon—and even Mars—and back,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
He announced the funding and details of the new cooperation at NASA’s headquarters on Sept. 21 while on his state visit to the United States.
“We’re getting behind Australian businesses so they can take advantage of the pipeline of work NASA has committed to.
“There is enormous opportunity for Australia’s space sector which is why we want to triple its size to $12 billion to create around 20,000 extra jobs by 2030.
“We’ve partnered with the U.S. in almost all of their missions to space for the last 60 years and this investment paves the way for the next 60,” he said.
“The growing amount of space sector work and innovation will also inspire the next generation to see the future of a career in these fields for the long term.”
Marshall said the biggest benefit would be raising the Australian Space Agency’s profile.
“That will lead to more investment and, being based in SA that means that investment with come to SA, so it will lead to more jobs.
“I know there are already a lot of young people getting super excited about the opportunities for jobs in the space sector.”
The premier believes the two space agencies will have a strong working relationship.
By Katina Curtis and Emily Cosenza