The Australian Space Agency has announced funding for two new projects that will see Australia further contribute to NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture.

Extraterrestrial Power and VXB Aerospace, were the two companies funded as part of the Australian Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants. 

This program supports Australian businesses with domestic or international supply chain opportunities by providing grant funds for building their capacity, skills and capabilities.

The two Australian companies would respectively address transitioning to a net zero economy and driving prosperity through innovation.

“These projects are yet another example of how Australian companies are contributing to global space missions by being agile and disrupting the status quo with innovations that are inventive and cost-effective. They have applications that can be spun back down to Earth as we respond to some of our greatest challenges like climate change," points out Head of the Agency, Enrico Palermo.

These projects were chosen from intakes 6 and 7 of the Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants programThe table below summarise details of the projects and the funding:

Company and Project

Project Description

Agency Funding

VXB Aerospace, NSW


Commercialisation of the Zephyr-35 and Hall Effect propulsion systems

  • VXB Aerospace is developing innovative Hall Effect propulsion systems for small satellites.
  •  They can be built to specific spacecraft requirements with a 5x reduction in lead time compared to other systems.
  •  This project will support VXB Aerospace in commercialising the thrusters so that they can tap into the global spacecraft supply chain.
  •  The thrusters are enabled by novel AI and advanced manufacturing techniques that will make production low-cost without affecting high performance - making them safe and accessible to a wide range of spacecraft. 


Extraterrestrial Power, NSW


Scaling up extraterrestrial thin silicon solar cell manufacturing

  • Extraterrestrial Power’s mission is to provide affordable power in space. There is a massive growth in the number of satellites being launched, and they are all powered by solar cells.
  • This project will support Extraterrestrial Power to scale up the manufacturing of their unique, thin silicon solar cells that are 10x times more cost efficient compared to existing space solar cells on the market.





Supply Chain Capability Improvement Program

This program draws on Australia’s competitive strengths. It builds capability and helps a variety of industries deliver products and services into global space supply chains.

This can include backing businesses to:

  • Develop a product from an adjacent industry, such as manufacturing and resources, to support the space sector.
  • Improve or qualify an existing product to meet a supplier standard for an international space company. 
  • Buy, lease, construct, install or commission equipment, including specialist software.
  • You can view the full list recipients on our Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants webpage
A person working in a laboratory.
A person posing indoors in front of spacecraft.

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