International cooperation and relationships are key to the success of almost any space endeavour. In a globalised world, space technologies and services are increasingly being used to support international efforts to tackle global issues such as climate change, and can see longstanding relationships reap mutual benefits.
The Australian Government engages internationally in many ways. Below are the key space-related cooperation mechanisms.
Treaties and Agreements
The Australian Government is a party to the major United Nations space-related treaties, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
Bilateral cooperative arrangements have been in place with many countries for up to fifty years, and often involve the provision or sharing of ground facilities, for example with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency, and the wider international astronomy community.
Multinational Agreements also allow Australia to obtain data from the Aqua and Terra satellites to provide near-real-time information on the location of active fires at a national level through the Sentinel Hotspots system.
For more information on Australia's international agreements, please visit our Treaties and Agreements page.
The Australian Government engages in multilateral fora including the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and also observes international arrangements, for example, through the United Nations Space Conventions, Missile Technology Control Regime.
19th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum
The 19th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 11- 14 December 2012. This forum shared information and ideas on space collaboration within the Asia-Pacific Region.
Australian Space Research Program
The Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) aims to develop Australia's niche space capabilities by supporting space-related research, innovation and skills in areas of national significance or excellent.
International collaboration is strongly encouraged. The majority of projects approved to date include international participants including research institutions, industry and government space agencies. It is hoped that the relationships developed through ASRP grant projects will lead to ongoing international collaboration and partnerships.
In the very late evening of Sunday 13 June 2010, Australia played an integral part in a major space exploration project, with the successful and safe return of the Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa, to Earth after a seven year journey.
If you have a domestic or international query about Australian Government space activities, please contact the Space Policy Unit.