The Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) welcomes the announcement by US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of the signing of a Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) between the United States and Australia. This signing of this legal and technical framework removes the last barrier preventing US space technology being launched from Australia.
“The Australian Space Industry is already open for business and are ready to sign up US customers to launch from and return to Australian soil. We hear regularly from both the US government and industry of their demand for this capability in Australia. This agreement removes the blockage stopping this demand being met by Australian Space Industry and we look forward to the new business opportunities that will emerge for the industry,” said SIAA Executive Chairman Jeremy Hallett.
While the text of the treaty is not yet public, it is expected the types of activities this agreement enables include:
- The launch of US rockets from Australian spaceports, which opens the US launcher market for Australian spaceport operators, but also provides local launch options for Australian spacecraft manufacturers on board US rockets;
- The launch of US spacecraft on board Australia rockets, from Australia, which opens the US market for Australian rocket manufacturers, and
- The return of US spacecraft to Australian soil, which helps unlock access to the booming, in-space manufacturing, science and medical research market.
Hallett said, “In addition to unlocking access to launch and return customers, it is important to note that these activities require the support of a significant ground infrastructure and professional services footprint which provides opportunity deep into Australia’s supply chains. We also note the importance of this agreement in allowing Australia to grow its role as a contributor to space capability with our international partners where for so long we have solely been a consumer.”
Lloyd Damp, CEO of SIAA Member Southern Launch, said, “For Southern Launch the TSA means our US customer, Varda, can return their in-space manufacturing capsules to the Koonibba Test Range and we could now relaunch them to orbit from our Whalers Way Range on a US rocket. This circular process unlocks a new pharmaceutical industry potential in Australia that will benefit all humankind, and give our nation a robust space launch and returns capability.”
Michael Jones, Chairman and Group CEO of SIAA Member Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA), said, “ELA has been engaged with and negotiating with U.S. rocket manufacturers for several years now and we have all be awaiting the TSA completion. Today’s events are great news for us and clears the way for us to finalise our contracts with U.S. launchers.”