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Australia expects its space economy to treble by 2030 and views India as a key international partner.

While virtually speaking at a conference on the ‘Development of Space Start-up Ecosystem in India,’ Mr. Enrico Palermo, Head, Australian Space Agency(ASA), stated that ‘India is an essential International Space Partner for Australia’ (DeSSEI). He mentioned India’s Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight mission, the $25 million (INR 144 crore) expansion of the Indian International Space Investment initiative, and assured that Australia continues to look at new ways to enhance space collaboration with India when referring to the areas of Indo-Australia cooperation in the sector.

According to the Australian Government, the country’s space economy is projected to triple in size by 2030, to $12bn(INR 65,200crore). With natural features such as clear skies, unique geography and advanced space capabilities, Australia offers international players comparative advantages in earth observation, communication technologies and services, access to space, robotics and automation, it was added.

Australia encourages cooperation with Indian space start-ups, according to Mr. Michael Costa, Deputy Consul General of Australia in South India, who spoke at the event. He also emphasised the routes that Indian start-ups in the space sector might take to acquire funding, tax breaks, incubator programmes, and international networks in Australia. He continued, “The proposed opening of an Australian Consulate-General and a joint Australia-India Centre of Excellence on Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bengaluru aims to further boost technology linkages between Australia and India from cyberspace to outer space.

Speaking of how there was an increasing appetite for Australian Space firms to set up a physical presence in India, Piyush Dhaundiyal, General Manager, Space Machines Company(SMC) said that his firm performed assembly, integration and testing of hardware in Sydney, while their core R&D, design and prototyping were being conducted in Bengaluru. Notably, Bengaluru is the aerospace hub of India.

Earlier, Mr Anthony Murfett, deputy head, Australian Space Agency(ASA), had said “The Australian government is proud to be supporting the Gaganyaan mission, by tracking through Australia’s territory on the Coco’s (Keeling) islands. It shows that Australia can be a trusted partner – we were a partner to NASA during the Apollo missions, we were a partner to Japan during Hayabusa 1&2 and now we’re working with India on Gaganyaan mission”.

The ambitious Gaganyaan mission, which ISRO has been working on, aims to establish the groundwork for a long-term, sustained Indian human space exploration programme by showcasing India’s capabilities to conduct human space flight missions to low Earth orbit. The Indian government has authorised two unmanned missions and one human mission as a part of this programme.


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