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Canberra to lead space economy: Barr

By Charlotte Harper - 3 November 2015 8

Mt Stroll

Chief Minister Andrew Barr will position Canberra as the future hub of a national space economy at an upcoming meeting of industry ministers.

The Government had already announced $50,000 in funding to help establish a Space Research and Innovation Hub as part of a broader industry cluster at Mount Stromlo.

“I look forward to working with the Commonwealth and the other states and the Northern Territory to develop this important 21st Century industry,” he said this morning.

Mr Barr said Canberra was fast becoming the knowledge capital of Australia with one if every nine Canberrans either working or studying at one of our tertiary education institutions.

“Becoming a hub of aeronautical research and development will allow Canberra to continue attracting and retaining researchers to our city – playing to our strengths and creating more jobs,” he said. “A 2014 report valued the space economy at US$314 billion per annum with annual growth of 8 percent per annum.”

The ACT is already home to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (a national facility for space environmental tests) and the EOS Laser Ranging Facility, which is used to track space debris for the Space Environment Research Centre.

The ACT Government has been working with key organisations such as ANU, UNSW Canberra and EOS Space Systems to define and project Canberra’s potential, Mr Barr said.

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8 Responses to
Canberra to lead space economy: Barr
maxblues 6:49 pm 24 Aug 17

In space…is same-sex marriage legal?

pink little birdie 4:09 pm 04 Nov 15

I think Australia should send a manned craft to the moon. If only to develop STEM. Every child has played Astronaut and or Aliens.
Wanting to be an astronaut means studying science and maths. Many would loose interest in being a actual astronaunt but still have the math and science skills and go into other areas.

darkmilk 11:14 am 04 Nov 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Never a NASA will Canberra be. We don’t even have a rocket launch pad.

The messy business of actually launching rockets has become just another service you contract out, see SpaceX and the other launch companies and agencies. Even the USA (NASA) can’t launch people to space any more, they contract it out. Building whole spacecraft is probably best contracted out too, it’s the payloads/sensors and the “smarts” which Australia should be concentrating on.

10 years ago Canberra did have a company with facilities to build space instruments and even satellites, but it withered and died from lack of support so was dismantled. This is the sort of expertise and facility Canberra should be aiming for: building instruments, communications, and analysing data. The Mt Stromlo/ANU facilites and a couple of private electro-optical companies are doing some good work but I believe not for space-certified hardware. CDSCC (Tidbinbilla tracking station) is also doing great work but struggling along with the rest of CSIRO.

I really hope this “Space Research and Innovation Hub” is the catalyst for a real space industry here and not just another political brain fart induced blip in the up and down cycle the local space industry has faced for a long time.

dungfungus 9:31 pm 03 Nov 15

Which sporting team is the new Space Research and Innovation Hub sponsoring?

switch 7:54 pm 03 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

I can see the point of something at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, but what is the point of the top of Mt Stromlo? A café with a view struggles to stay in business there.

Mt Stromlo was fine for optical telescopes back when astronomers used to actually sit in the observatories in the dark and cold before going home or back the ANU, but they do everything over the Internet now.

Mt Stromlo was made progressively redundant by the increasing light pollution of Canberra below and the ACT government has completely shut the door on optical telescopes by building out the entire valleys below with wall to wall MacMansions.

Mt Stromlo is where they make instrumentation for telescopes around Australia and the world. Something far more relevant to the establishment of a space industry than mere star-gazing.

Rubaiyat, have you considered stepping back and not yielding to the urge to reply in triplicate to every post on Riot-ACT?

wildturkeycanoe 4:34 pm 03 Nov 15

“…one if every nine Canberrans either working or studying at one of our tertiary education institutions.”
25% of those studying are on student visas, so that doesn’t mean all that knowledge stays here does it?
Then of those working in universities, how many are cleaners, aides, administration staff, people who generally do not have tertiary qualifications? Pretty big speak but what does it really mean when we only have one tenth the student numbers that Sydney or Melbourne unis have?
$50,000 would barely be enough to print brochures on what a Space and Research Hub actually does.
Never a NASA will Canberra be. We don’t even have a rocket launch pad.

dungfungus 2:06 pm 03 Nov 15

What happened to last month’s “Silicon Valley” venture?

rubaiyat 1:13 pm 03 Nov 15

I can see the point of something at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, but what is the point of the top of Mt Stromlo? A café with a view struggles to stay in business there.

Mt Stromlo was fine for optical telescopes back when astronomers used to actually sit in the observatories in the dark and cold before going home or back the ANU, but they do everything over the Internet now.

Mt Stromlo was made progressively redundant by the increasing light pollution of Canberra below and the ACT government has completely shut the door on optical telescopes by building out the entire valleys below with wall to wall MacMansions.

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