In the lead up to the State Budget, the Western Australian government has announced a $6.5 million injection into the state’s ambitious space program.
The extra funding will go towards two key space initiatives – Australian Remote Operators for Space and Earth (AROSE) and Curtin University’s Binar Space Program.
The duo received funding from the federal government last year as part of the Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility Grants program.
$4 million is being committed to AROSE, an industry-led consortium transferring technology from the resources sector to the international space industry.
AROSE seeks to position WA as a trusted leader of remote operations. In particular, it has its sights set on deploying a remote lunar rover on the Moon.
Curtin’s Binar Space program’s $2.5 million funding will facilitate the growth of the space industry through enabling WA startups and small to medium-sized enterprises in testing their technology in space for commercialisation.
The four-year co-investment program will also assist in training students in the development, testing and operation of spacecraft.
Binar-1, Curtin University’s first spacecraft was launched into space on 29 August 2021, and is currently orbiting 400 kilometres above Earth, providing information on spacecraft operation and performance.
Over the next 18 months, Curtin aims to send six more CubeSat spacecrafts into space, forming WA’s first satellite constellation.
Since being incepted in 2017, the program has developed extensive capability and a highly trained workforce across the design, manufacturing, engineering and operations of space technology.
Over the past two years, the state government has committed almost $16 million to the sector.
Deputy Premier and Science Minister Roger Cook noted that it is one of the nine sectors targeted under the government’s Diversfy WA framework.
“Space is just one of the many exciting industries taking off in WA and it’s important that the WA Government continues to support local space research,” he said.
Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News.