Australia’s new space agency has been invited to help Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rockets get to the moon.
At this week’s Australasian Satellite forum in Sydney, Blue Origin commercial director Ted McFarland told InnovationAus.com there was “a lot of land” and “a lot of talent” in Australia which suited launching a space tourism business.
“So, yeah, this is a formal invitation to discuss,” he said.
Australia’s space agency was announced at the International Aeronautical Congress when it was held in Adelaide last year, and it’s the same event McFarland invited it to attend in Bremen, Germany, in September.
He said he wants Australia “on stage with Jeff” in Bremen.
“We’re going back to the moon and we’re going to stay,” he said. “So, yes, we’re ready and able to have that conversation with the government of Australia.”
That sounds like a big tick of approval for the fledgling agency that opens for business on July 1 with Dr Megan Clark as its first CEO, and with $40 million in seed and investment funding for the first four years.
Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported Whitehall officials were interested in talking to Australia about potential interest in helping the UK set up a satnav system independent of Europe’s $15 billion Galileo project by the end of the year.
The UK Ministry of Defence, the FT reports “is looking at ways to collaborate with countries in its ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing alliance with Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada”.
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