- European Space Agency (ESA) head in WA to visit New Norcia ground station
- McGowan Government calls for Australian space agency to be based in WA
- ESA visit highlights WA's global role and capabilities in the space industry
- The proposed national space agency has the potential to create thousands of jobs
Science Minister Dave Kelly will today welcome the Director General of the European Space Agency, Professor Jan Woerner, to Western Australia with the visit highlighting our potential to be the home of the proposed Australian space agency.
The Minister and WA's Chief Scientist, Peter Klinken AC, will join Professor Woerner as he visits the ESA's ground station at New Norcia, one of only three deep space ground stations operated worldwide by the agency.
The New Norcia station has played a pivotal role in communications for major space missions such as Rosetta and Mars Express.
Today's visit emphasises the crucial role WA plays in the global space industry, and showcases our State as a leading contender to be the base of the Federal Government's proposed national space agency.
In WA we already participate in ground-based satellite and deep space tracking, tracking and monitoring of space debris, defence testing, optical and radio astronomy, space research, 'big data' management and processing, geospatial data, and precision engineering.
In August, the McGowan Government made a submission to the Federal Government's review of Australia's Space Industry Capability. This submission highlighted the many areas of the space sector in which Western Australia is a key contributor.
Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:
"Western Australia has been involved in the space industry for nearly 60 years and we believe WA is the perfect fit to be the home of the proposed national space agency.
"A space agency would build on our strong capabilities in areas such as radio astronomy, remote sensing, and big data management and our growing international reputation.
"WA already has existing relationships with global space agencies, such as NASA, ESA and Japan's national space agency, which the State and nation can leverage off.
"The development of WA's space industry links with other initiatives of the McGowan Government such as the State STEM Strategy which will help diversify our economy and create jobs of the future."