Fire up: Space network grabs federal support funds

Plans for the Bowen Orbital Spaceport have been boosted through a Federal Government grant of $52 million.

Mar 25, 2022, updated Mar 25, 2022
An artist's impression of Gilmour's planned rocket launch

An artist's impression of Gilmour's planned rocket launch

Gilmour Space said a national network of companies within the Australian Space Manufacturing Network received the grant.

Gilmour said it would work with a range of partners and universities to create a manufacturing and test hub and an advanced manufacturing facility to produce launch vehicles and satellites.

“The funding will also support the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in north Queensland, preparing its launch pad to fire rockets into orbit,” Gilmour said.

“The industry-led network will support Australia’s growing space sector to see great Aussie ideas go all the way from initial concepts, to commercialisation and finally to launch right here on home soil.

“Over the next five years, it’s expected the project will support more than 850 new jobs, including 350 space manufacturers in highly skilled engineering and technical roles.”

Chief executive Adam Gilmour said it was big news for our Australian Space Manufacturing Network partners and for commercial space in Australia.

“Rockets and satellites are key enablers of the global space economy. The co-funding will provide timely support for emerging space manufacturers to develop and mature significant space capabilities in Australia,” he said.

“Details have yet to be provided, but we and our ASMN partners intend to leverage on this grant to engage in the full spectrum of space activities, from research and development to advanced manufacturing and launch. These efforts will help grow the industry and deliver real civil, commercial and defence benefits for the nation.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the government’s investment in the project will help unlock further collaboration between small and medium businesses and researchers to see launch vehicles and satellites take off to space.

“Australia’s space sector has already taken leaps and bounds and is globally recognised. The race is on in the $600 billion global space economy and the Australian Space Manufacturing Network will help cement the incredible opportunities for local companies to be part of the excitement of launch,” he said.

“From testing to manufacture, to assembly and finally launch, this project will harness great Aussie know-how to attract further private investment and create hundreds of high-skilled and high-value jobs. This is a big win for Queensland jobs.

“Through the work of the Australian Space Agency we already know that space technologies are playing an increasingly important role on earth, supporting navigation systems which draw on them in our cars and smartphones and by farmers to monitor the health of their crops.”


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