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Australian Space Agency consults on ‘Moon to Mars’ program

The Australian Space Agency will conduct a series of consultations seeking feedback and input on the design of its $150 million Moon to Mars program and grant opportunities. Public meetings will be held across Australia in late-February and early March, with the deadline for written submissions on 6 March.

‘Moon to Mars’ is the Agency’s shorthand for the totality of measures announced in its Growing Australia’s Space Industry strategy released in September 2019. It consists of three integrated elements: Supply Chain Program; Demonstrator Program; and Trailblazer Program.

It will provide an opportunity to showcase to the world Australia’s best ideas and technologies that can support space missions to the Moon and on to Mars; fuel the growth of Australian businesses so they can thrive in international space supply chains that support Moon to Mars activities; and create jobs and support the transformation of industries across Australia, the Agency says. The outline financial plan looks like this:

M2M administered
2020-21 ($m) 2021-22 ($m) 2022-23 ($m) 2023-24 ($m) 2024-25 ($m) Total ($m)
Supply Chain program 1.7 6.5 13.0 13.0 13.0 47.2
Demonstrator program 1.7 2.0 8.5 18.0 15.0 45.2
Trailblazer program 0.0 0.0 12.0 18.0 20.0 50.0

The consultation focuses on the Supply Chain and Demonstrator programs as these will be implemented in 2020-21. More detailed consultation will occur on the Trailblazer program at a later date, the Agency says.

Meanwhile the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) is seeking input from its members to develop a submission written by its Legislation Working Group, led by Mr Bill Barrett. The deadline for this is 28 February.

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