Inquiry opens the way for Australian space launches

Inquiry into space launches from Australia - Newsreel
A Parliamentary committee is exploring the safeguards needed for space launches from Australia | Photo: Suman Bhaumik (iStock)

The Federal Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has begun hearings to clear the way for space launches in Australia.

The hearings have started in Canberra to review the agreement between the Federal Government and the United States Government on safeguards for joint launches from Australian soil.

“The treaty aligns with Australia’s national interest to develop a space launch sector capable of meeting the growing demands for space launch,” the committee said in a statement.

“Australia has a unique geographical location which makes it strategically ideal for growing and commercialising the space launch sector.

“Currently, Australia exports the majority of its satellites to the US for launch by US companies.”

The agreement being reviewed is designed to allow Australian organisations to undertake space launch activity, including on US launch vehicles.

Committee Chair Josh Wilson said the global space sector was expected to grow rapidly.

“The (US-Australia) agreement will contribute to building a robust and sustainable space launch sector here in Australia, making us more attractive as a global launching hub,” he said.

“Australia’s domestic policies and regulations have created an open marketplace that will allow countries from around the world to launch from Australia.

“By providing a reliable and responsible foundation for the United States to access space, Australia will strengthen an already well-established relationship, and will seek to leverage expanded launch activities into a growing Australian space sector.”