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Persuade the Australian Federal Government to establish a space agency or join the ESA

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For the past 50 years, Australia has been part of every NASA deep space mission. Australia also played a significant role in the Apollo missions. Our tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek was the main NASA tracking station for all the Apollo missions. We launched the first Australian satellite, called the ‘WRESAT’, using a modified American Redstone Rocket from the Woomera Test Range in South Australia.

Despite these wonderful achievements, Australia never took the initiative to establish a national space agency and rejected offers to join Europe’s premier space agency (ESA).

In 2008, the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Economics produced a report called Lost in Space – Setting a new direction for Australia’s space science and industry sector. It noted Australia was the only Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country to lack a space agency and it clearly and unambiguously called for its establishment. Instead, the Space Policy Unit was established in 2009, which gave the Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) $40 million over three years. Unfortunately, there was no space agency and space program included in the new policy.

Meanwhile, The Australian reported that the Australian Federal Government rejected separate invitations to join the European Space Agency over the past three decades. Accepting the invitation would have allowed Australia to access the knowledge of spacecraft, applications, hardware, etc.

Although the idea of a national space agency may sound expensive, these are some of the major reasons why we should establish a national space agency:

1.     To encourage STEM to the Australian youth

2.     Establish a firm space industry.

3.     To allow Australia to communicate with international space agencies at a technical level.

4.     To fill the gap in technical responsibilities in space.

5.     Keep the science and engineering graduates that want to work in the space sector.

In addition, joining the ESA is great alternative. These are some of the reasons why:

1.     The ESA guarantees a 100 per cent return for every dollar invested in its project.

2.     To work on bigger (collaborated) projects rather than spending lots on a small project.

3.     Foster science and innovation (for local companies, universities, and other organizations).

Establishing a national space agency doesn’t mean we have to conduct manned space exploration immediately. This is something that can be done later when we have established a firm space industry and enough budget to do so.

We hope this has convinced you to sign this petition and help us persuade the Australian Federal Government to establish a national space agency or join the ESA.

 

Sources:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/join-european-space-agency-expert-warwick-holmes-urges-australia/news-story/052f93325c6d4a40d7faf8b11e9f0c6a

http://theconversation.com/ten-reasons-why-australia-urgently-needs-a-space-agency-16386

http://www.thecitizen.org.au/features/it-time-australia-rejoin-space-race

http://www.australianscience.com.au/space/should-australia-have-its-own-space-agency/

 



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