Australian Space Agency

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Australian Space Agency
Australian Space Agency logo.png
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 2018; 10 months ago (2018-07-01)
Preceding agency
HeadquartersAdelaide, South Australia, Australia
Annual budget$5.7 million (2018/2019) [1]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent departmentDepartment of Industry, Innovation and Science

The Australian Space Agency is the public service agency of Australia responsible for the development of Australia’s space industry, coordinating domestic activities, identifying opportunities and facilitating international space engagement.


The Agency has six primary responsibilities:[2]

  1. Providing national policy and strategic advice on the civil space sector.
  2. Coordinating Australia’s domestic civil space sector activities.
  3. Supporting the growth of Australia’s space industry and the use of space across the broader economy.
  4. Leading international civil space engagement.
  5. Administering space activities legislation and delivering on our international obligations.
  6. Inspiring the Australian community and the next generation of space entrepreneurs.

In keeping with the above responsibilities, it is different from other established space programs in that it exists to promote private development and businesses.[3]


As of 2008, Australia was the only OECD country without a space agency,[4] with the preceding Australian Space Office (ASO) having been disbanded by the federal government in 1996.[citation needed]

In 2009, the Space Policy Unit funded the Australian Space Research Program over three years.[4]

On 25 September 2017, at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Senator Simon Birmingham announced that the Australian Government would be launching a national space agency following an expert reference group investigation led by Dr. Megan Clark, ex-chief executive of CSIRO.[5]

As part of the Australian Government's 2018 budget announcement, $26m in seed funding over four years from 2018 was included to establish the Australian Space Agency, with a further $15m for international space investment starting from 2019.[6][7][8]

The budget was criticised for being inadequate by private Australian space companies including Delta-V and Gilmour Space Technologies[9] and space historian Alice Gorman noted that low budget attempts at starting an Australian space agency have failed in the past.[10]

On 14 May 2018, Senator Michaelia Cash officially announced the launch of the Australian Space Agency, identifying 1 July 2018 as the commencement date of the agency. It will be located with the Industry Department in Canberra, and Dr. Megan Clark will be the inaugural Chief Executive of the agency for at least the first year.[11][12]

On 12 December 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially announced that Adelaide would become home to the Australian Space Agency. It will be located at Lot Fourteen, the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2019.[13]

Agency executives[edit]

Dr. Megan Clark AC, FTSE 15 May 2018 Incumbent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Corinne Reichert (8 May 2018). "Budget 2018 Government confirms AU41m Space Agency". ZDNet.
  2. ^ "Australian Space Agency Charter" (PDF). Department of Industry, Innovation & Science. Australian Government. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  3. ^ Katie Burgess (29 September 2018). "Not NASA: New Australian space agency more 'nimble', 'industry-focused'". Canberra Times.
  4. ^ a b Dempster, Andrew. "Ten reasons why Australia urgently needs a space agency". The Conversation. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Australia commits to space agency". 25 September 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Budget 2018: space agency details still scant - but GPS and satellite imagery funded". The Conversation. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Budget 2018: 'Seed funding' for Australian space agency to be unveiled". ABC News. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  8. ^ "2018-19 Portfolio Budget Statements". Budget 2018-19. Australian Government. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  9. ^ Denham Sadler (8 May 2018). "Just $26m for new space agency". Innovation Aus.
  10. ^ Andrew Dempster; Alice Gorman (29 March 2018). "What we're looking for in Australia's Space Agency: views from NSW and SA". The Conversation.
  11. ^ "Australian Space Agency to launch on 1 July". Computerworld from IDG. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  12. ^ "New government space agency to join Industry Department". Financial Review. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  13. ^ South Australia to become home to Australia's new space agency, 12 December 2018, retrieved 12 December 2018

External links[edit]