The Australian Space Agency and its French counterpart have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will help both nations work together to develop their respective space programs and take full advantage of the rapidly expanding global space industry.
The agreement was signed on 1 September by the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC, and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President, Dr Jean-Yves Le Gall.
The agreement will help both countries join forces to develop their space capabilities, particularly in the areas of space operations, space science, Earth observation, positioning system and communications.
The first steps are already underway, with CNES partnering with UNSW Canberra Space for the development of the Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF) for the development of world class space missions, and for studies towards the development of satellite technologies with advanced sensors and on-board processing and intelligence.
This facility will fast-track Australia’s ability to deliver world-class space technology, provide a boost to economic growth and jobs in Australia, and support future joint missions.
Dr Clark said the signing of the agreement represented the start of the Australian Space Agency’s journey with fellow spacefaring nations.
“Civil space engagement initiatives like this with the French Space Agency will explore advanced space technology and applications used in earth observation and remote sensing with high-altitude balloons and satellites, space operations and joint missions,” Dr Clark said.
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall also welcomed the agreement.
“Today CNES proudly becomes the Australian Space Agency’s very first international partner. Australia’s amazing ramp-up shows the now crucial importance of space for our economies. The joint projects coming out of today’s agreement will ultimately bring growth and jobs both in Australia and in France.