An agreement with the United States on civil space collaboration means Australian residents will be able to monitor natural disasters, climate change and weather patterns more effectively.
The joint statement on bilateral cooperation in the civil use of GPS and civil space activities was developed through the Australian Space Policy Unit.
“Civil space infrastructure is critical to all Australians. Every day, we use civil space systems for applications ranging from GPS navigation, to land and sea remote sensing. This agreement formalises Australia’s continued access,” said Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr in a statement.
“It will also ensure we play our part in managing the space environment, reducing the increasing threat that space debris poses to crucial satellites,” he said.
Civil space cooperation between Australia and the US has a long history that includes deep space tracking, earth observation and outer atmosphere balloon flights.
Senator Carr said the joint statement paved the way for collaboration on a new generation of peaceful space applications, bringing opportunities for Australian researchers and industries.
“The agreement will strengthen the partnership between our two countries by promoting skills development and knowledge sharing,” he said.
"It will explore opportunities for fair and open global trade and commerce in commercial space systems, ground-based capabilities and related activities. The statement will also provide opportunities for early discussions on new systems and future civil space related missions under development."
Senator Carr said that by creating a central point of contact for Australian space activities, it can build international relationships that protect space interests and boost Australia's space industry.