Since the announcement of a new Australian Space Agency, the hustle and bustle for the necessary preparations have started. To begin with the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Michaelia Cash has announced the appointment of Dr. Megan Clark who will be the interim head of the agency. Clark was a former in charge of the CSIRO. She was also the head of the expert committee group that explored the space industry capabilities of the nation.
In the very beginning, funding issues have been solved. In the previous week, the federal budget has allotted A$41 million for the space agency. The details of the funding are-A$25 million for the agency and the remaining A$ 16 million for the space investment fund. There is much doubt about how much innovations and execution of work can be completed with the help of such funding.
However, in the past, it has been seen that the Australian government have managed quite level with the same level of funding. Previously the government had formed the Australian Space Research Program which ran from 2010 to 2013 with a funding of about A$40 million. Within that amount of funds, a lot of positive work was done. One of such actions involved making of a colossal size Landsat satellite imagery. However, such positive work failed to put any valuable assets in the space in the later stage. One of the major projects that started at that time was Myriota which developed “Internet o Things” applications in the area.
Another critical step that the Australian Government has taken up to is to allot fund to the tune of A$ 260 million for a space-based augmentation system(SBAS). This will mainly concentrate on improving satellite navigation as well as geospatial technologies. This funding has shadowed the direct financing which has been allotted to the space agency, but expert feels that even this massive funding for the SBAS will also reap fruits shortly. It will undoubtedly pave the way for sending some useful space assets soon for Australia.
But the bulk of the funding is kept for the national infrastructure development. The Australian government has called for the transparent bidding process and have invited private players to participate in the bidding process so that they can also be motivated and the bidding process can be done on an international standard. In this process, the government is also in search of bringing new capabilities and innovative technologies into the sector as well.