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Morrison US Visit Puts Technology Front And Centre

Deals involving Australian technological and scientific know-how have been front and centre during Scott Morrison’s state visit to Washington. The highlight of his trip has been the signing of a deal for the Australian Space Agency and NASA to co-operate on the Artemis mission to send humans back to the moon and on to Mars.

The Government hopes the joint venture will triple the value of Australia’s space sector to A$12 billion and create 20,000 jobs by 2030.

“We can’t wait to be part of the next stellar chapter, so beam us up,” Morrison said. “The growing amount of space sector work and innovation will also inspire the next generation to see the future of a career in these fields for the long term.”

The Government hopes Australian technology experts can deliver earth-to-moon communications systems, robots and other automation systems for space mining and remote medical services that have been developed for areas such as Antarctica and the Pilbara.

Small satellites that deliver high-resolution images could also be in the mix and Australia has launch facilities and tracking systems which could also be deployed.

South Australian Premier, Steve Marshall, said that as well as raising the Adelaide-based Australian Space Agency’s profile, which will bring it more investment to his state. Rare earths are also on the agenda.

Morrison’s US visit has opened more than Australia’s space potential. Also discussed were:

  • An agreement to hold high-level discussions in Washington in November to develop a critical minerals action plan and increase trade in rare earths between the US and Australia. As has been reported earlier in CDN, rare earths are used in building components for much of the technology we rely on today and are found in abundance in Australia.
  • Australia has also agreed to enhance cooperation between scientific communities through a joint senior-level dialogue on advancing frontier technologies.
  • The CSIRO will deepen collaboration with the US on lithium-ion recycling, joining the government-funded ReCell Centre’s industrial advisory council.
  • Australia’s expertise on hydrogen, a fuel long researched by the CSIRO, will be tapped by the US Hydrogen Safety Centre.
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