The Australian government has backed ten space startups and researchers by awarding them with grants totalling to $11 million. The chosen Australian space startups and researchers work on everything from AI-based avatar crews to the design of spacesuits that make spacewalking easier.
Karen Andrews, Minister of Industry, Science and Technology, said the projects sharing the $11 million grant will boost jobs and skill in the space industry. She adds these projects will also significantly help in recovering from the economic slump caused by the pandemic.
Here’s all you need to know about the 10 Australian space startups and Universities that received the grant.
The 10 Australian space projects
The projects selected for the grant will strengthen Australian universities and business connections with international space agencies. This will also help Australian businesses in taking their capabilities on a global level and potentially gaining more work in the future. The projects that managed to score a piece of the grant are:
- Akin – Received a $1,531,200 grant for developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) space crew with personas working together that will help astronauts with complex system tests
2. Human Aerospace – Received $844,236 to create a spacesuit that eases bone loss and other side effects of prolonged space missions
3. Melbourne University – $3,955,223 was awarded for its SpIRIT CubeSat mission. The mission involves the development of a nano-satellite. SpIRIT is going to be the first Australian-made spacecraft to host a foreign space agency payload
4. Raytracer – Got $200,000 for its Underwater Virtual Reality Training Simulations for Astronauts
5. Silentium Defence Trading – Received $1,460,541 for its Space Traffic Management and South Australian Multi-Sensor Space Observatory for Space Situational Awareness projects
6. Saber Astronautics Australia bagged $788,792 for its project OSSO (The Open Source Space Operations infrastructure)
7. Skykraft received $878,193 for its design and qualification of micro-satellite constellation launch systems project
- Stamen Engineering scored $217,821 for its project – Decision Support System for Collision Avoidance of Space Objects
- University of New South Wales received $691,500 for its Advanced Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver for CubeSats, Remote Sensing and Rockets
- The University of Canberra got $432,494 for its VertiSense-Mitigation of Sensorimotor Effects of Simulated Weightlessness. The project will counter sensorimotor disturbances experienced by astronauts post spaceflight
More on the grant
Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency, says the projects chosen demonstrate the quality and breadth in small and medium-sized companies and researchers. The grant also demonstrates that Australia is not content in simpy catching up with other countries space achievements but wants to be a leader in space innovation.
The government’s investment in space projects shows Australia’s interest in developing advanced space technology and building workforce skills to participate internationally. Additionally, the Morrison Government will be investing about $700 million into the space industry to triple the size of the sector to $12 billion and create additional 20,000 jobs by 2030.
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