The Australian Space Agency signed a joint Statement of Intent with NASA, launching a new partnership on future space cooperation. This includes the opportunity for Australia to join the United States’ Moon to Mars exploration approach, including NASA’s Artemis lunar program.
L-R: NASA Deputy Administrator, Jim Morhard; US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross; Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP; Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC
Read the full statement
Acknowledging the long-standing, close and strong collaboration in space exploration between Australia and the United States for over 60 years;
Recognising the positive and ongoing cooperation between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and NASA in radio astronomy and spacecraft tracking through a variety of sites across Australia including the Parkes radio telescope in New South Wales, Honeysuckle Creek tracking station, and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex;
Recognising the 40-year relationship between NASA and Geoscience Australia through collaboration in space geodesy and on the Lunar and Satellite Laser Ranging program;
Recognising the establishment of the Australian Space Agency in July 2018 and its ongoing efforts to transform and enhance Australian space industry;
Recognising the priority the United States has placed on returning humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024 through the Artemis program, and its plans for the establishment of a sustainable lunar presence with a view towards human exploration of Mars; and
Considering in particular 100 years of ‘mateship’ between the United States and Australia and enthusiasm for the next 100 years;
The Australian Space Agency and NASA are committed to expanding cooperation across several domains, and to inviting industry-to-industry collaboration and research solutions in areas including but not limited to:
- Support for NASA’s plans to return to the Moon and onto Mars in areas of mutual interest, such as robotics, automation, remote asset management, space life sciences, human health, and remote medicine;
- Space science, research, and technology applications to support human missions to the Moon, including collaboration on advanced optical communications and services;
- Earth observation;
- Spaceflight safety programs;
- Suborbital research;
- Joint science research, campaigns, and projects in which Australian principal investigators can support NASA missions;
- Technology and research in In-Situ Resource Utilisation to support scientific exploration; and
- Space education opportunities.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Australian Space Agency and NASA intend to pursue a Framework Agreement enabling closer collaboration. In parallel, they will continue technical and programmatic discussions to identify specific opportunities for collaboration.
The Heads of Agencies look forward to advancing the respective interests of Australia and the United States of America, as well as further strengthening the bonds between the two countries.