Civil-space innovations and commercial ties are set to be further unlocked between Australia and India.

Today the Australian Government announced funding for three collaborative space projects that will strengthen the space economy for the two partner nations.

The projects will receive a total of A$18 million (INR₹ 98 crore) as part of the International Space Investment India (ISI) Projects program.

Each project will include a number of Australian and Indian partners, who will help address climate change, boost manufacturing, and advance artificial intelligence, among other objectives. 

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said: 

“India’s commercial space sector is rapidly growing, propelled forward by historic feats like becoming the first nation to successfully land on the South Pole of the Moon.

“By investing in these collaborative projects (see below) we can further strengthen the relationship between our space sectors and unlock opportunities for Australian organisations to develop even more joint projects and missions with India into the future."

ISI India Projects program

  • The program will build valuable commercial links between Australian and Indian space sectors. 
  • The awarded projects emphasis the role that space science plays in enhancing cooperation in our region. 
  • The innovations from this program will also help promote a Future Made in Australia.

LatConnect 60 (WA) 

awarded almost $5.8 million 

  • The grant will be used to develop and build a Low Earth Orbit satellite in Australia to collect information on carbon emissions at a very high resolution. 
  • The satellite will be launched from India, and aims to significantly lower the cost of data acquisition and insight generation of key indicators like methane and carbon dioxide.

Space Machines Company (NSW)

Awarded more than A$8.5 million 

  • The grant will be used for for Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation) - demonstrating advanced concepts such as on-orbit transportation and space debris mitigation. 
  • Space MAITRI will incorporate an Australian-built Orbital Servicing Vehicle, sent into space on a dedicated Indian launcher. 

Skykraft (ACT)

Awarded A$3.7 million 

  • The grant will be used to propose and validate a new Position, Navigation and Timing system. 
  • The ultimate aim is to better connect large-scale satellite constellations, which are vital for Earth observation and forecasting weather.

Expanding space ties

“Australia and India possess significant untapped potential as space partners. As they become closer economic and security partners, the areas for cooperation on space technologies will grow," shares Australia India Institute CEO Lisa Singh.

The new funding will not only strengthen the nation's commercial links but further enrich their space history.

Last year, Australia helped track India’s historic landing on the South Pole of the Moon and is currently supporting India's upcoming Gaganyaan human space flight mission.

“Australia has unique competitive advantages to offer in Earth observation, communications technologies and services, and robotics and automation. We also have the capacity to contribute to and learn from India’s human space flight ambitions, particularly in space health and life sciences,” added Mr Palermo.

Main image: (L-R) Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo and High Commissioner of India to Australia, His Excellency Mr Gopal Baglay.

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.