Perth confirmed for space hub

17/02/2020 - 12:40

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An industry consortium including Woodside and two universities has confirmed Perth will be the hub of a new remote operations centre dedicated to the space industry.

Perth confirmed for space hub
Woodside has used NASA's robonaut previously, see here with Dave Kelly in 2017. Photo: Attila Csaszar

An industry consortium including Woodside Petroleum and two universities has confirmed Perth will be the hub of a new remote operations centre dedicated to the space industry.

Woodside, Nova Systems, Fugro, the University of Western Australia and Curtin University are behind the move to establish Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth.

The not for profit’s plan will be to ensure WA has a key role in Australia’s partnership with NASA for the Moon to Mars project.

Last year, the federal government committed $6 million to space projects in WA, including for a remote operations mission control, while the state government chipped in $1.5 million for the Arose consortium.

There’s already a series of remote operations centres in WA, including Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Fugro, Roy Hill and Woodside.

Science Minister Dave Kelly said the state government wanted to be part of the new generation space race to diversify the economy.

"Our investment to make Western Australia the home of Arose is set to turn us into a global centre for remote operations in space,” he said.

"As the world leader in autonomous and remote operations and a participant in the space industry for more than 60 years, WA is primed and ready to contribute to the Australia-NASA Moon to Mars partnership.

"What Arose will do is take the world-class technology already utilised in WA and adapt it for remote operations on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

"In doing so, it will unlock new opportunities for WA businesses to participate in global space supply chains and ensure local businesses secure contracts in international space initiatives such as NASA's Lunar Gateway and project Artemis.

"By leveraging our world-class expertise, this consortium will see WA take part in the global space economy which was valued at $US350 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $US1.1 trillion by 2040."

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